Walid Regragui: Morocco Coach Takes Responsibility for AFCON Exit After South Africa Defeat

Walid Regragui: Morocco Coach Takes Responsibility for AFCON Exit After South Africa Defeat

Lukman Mumuni
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Morocco logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Teboho Mokoena logo
T. Mokoena
Mamelodi Sundowns logoMSouth Africa logo
Evidence Makgopa logo
E. Makgopa
Orlando Pirates logoFSouth Africa logo
Achraf Hakimi logo
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) logoDMorocco logo
  • Walid Regragui has opened up after the South Africa defeat
  • Morocco have been knocked out of the 2023 Nations Cup
  • South Africa will next face Cape Verde for semi-final berth

Morocco coach Walid Regragui has expressed disappointment following the Atlas Lions' 2023 Africa Cup of Nations elimination.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup semi-finalist fell short once again after suffering a 2-0 defeat to South Africa in their last-16 clash on Tuesday night.

Tipped as favourites to win the tournament following their exploits in Qatar, the 1976 champions missed a penalty as goals from Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena sent them packing.

Walid Regragui, Morocco, AFCON, South Africa
Walid Regragui has taken responsibility following Morocco's Africa Cup of Nations exit. @CAF_Online
Source: Twitter

After the match, Regragui took full responsibility, stating the team would bounce back strongly.

"Today I failed, so we have to accept it!" he said in a post-match interview.
"We could have maybe settled the game in the first half but, at this level, you get immediately punished for any chance you waste," he added.
"The penalty hurt us a lot, and surely we didn't do everything that is required but I take full responsibility."

Regragui will return home to start preparations ahead of the next tournament, which will be hosted by the North African nation.

Meanwhile, South Africa will face Cape Verde in the quarter-final of the competition on Sunday, as reported by Sky Sports.

Hakimi misses penalty as Morocco exits AFCON

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that PSG defender Achraf Hakimi missed a penalty as Morocco became the latest heavyweight casualty at AFCON 2023, suffering a 2-0 defeat to South Africa in the last 16.

Evidence Makgopa gave South Africa the lead just before the hour mark, but Morocco had the chance to draw level five minutes from time from the penalty spot.

Teboho Mokoena delivered the match-winner with a beautiful freekick in injury time.

Mosimane praises Mokoena after victory

Sports Brief also reported that Pitso Mosimane praised Sundowns midfielder Teboho Mokoena after his excellent display in South Africa's victory over Morocco in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Bafana Bafana surprised the top-ranked team on the continent after strolling to a 2-0 win in San Pedro to advance into the quarter-finals.

Mokoena, who was named Man of the Match, scored the goal that sealed Bafana Bafana's faith in the 94th minute as South Africa set up a clash against Cape Verde in the final eight.

Lukman Mumuni photo
Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.