Achraf Hakimi: What Conte Said on Moroccan’s Penalty After AFCON Miss Against South Africa

Achraf Hakimi: What Conte Said on Moroccan’s Penalty After AFCON Miss Against South Africa

Elijah Odetokun
updated at January 31, 2024 at 8:24 AM
In this article:
Achraf Hakimi logo
Paris Saint Germain (PSG) logoDMorocco logo
Morocco logo
Inter Milan logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Achraf Hakimi denied Morocco a chance of reaching the AFCON 2023 quarter-final
  • The PSG defender missed from the penalty spot to level the scores in the 85th minute
  • Hakimi's former boss, Antonio Conte, spoke on his reluctance to take penalties in 2021

Morocco was eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations in round 16 after Achraf Hakimi missed a penalty that could have given them a better chance of progression.

2022 FIFA World Cup history makers Morocco encountered a different reality in the continental competition after they were beaten 2-0 by South Africa.

Amine Harit, Achraf Hakimi, Morocco, South Africa, AFCON 2023, Ivory Coast.
Amine Harit consoles Achraf Hakimi after South Africa eliminate Morocco at AFCON 2023. Photo by Sia Kambou/AFP.
Source: Getty Images

The Atlas Lions were one of the tournament’s favourites due to their exploits in Qatar and their run heading into the competition ongoing in Ivory Coast.

Hakimi could have drawn his country level in the 85th minute and possibly set up extra time, which would have given them a more fighting chance, but he missed, and South Africa added a second.

When Conte spoke on Hakimi’s penalty

The right-back spent a season at Inter Milan in the 2020/21 season, winning the Italian Serie A title under Antonio Conte before he sealed a move to PSG.

Per Football Tweet, the Italian boss spoke about the Madrid-born star’s reluctance at penalties.

“The important thing is that he doesn’t take penalties. I see it at the end of training when he stops to shoot with his teammates. If it gets to that point in some competitions, everyone has to die before he hits one,” he said.

The opinion appears questionable based on his exploits in Qatar, where he scored a paneka in the final kick of the shootout to eliminate Spain in the Round of 16.

As of the time he missed, the North African still had captain Romain Saiss, Azzedine Ounahi and Yousef En-Nesyri on the pitch, who could have taken the spot-kick.

The elimination could impact the future of manager Walid Regragui. Per BSN Sports, he vowed to resign if he could not lead the team to at least a semifinal finish at AFCON.

Moroccan fans chant Hakimi’s name

Sports Brief reported on Moroccan fans supporting Hakimi by chanting his name despite his penalty miss that eventually led to the country’s elimination.

His teammates En-Nesyri, Saiss and Nayef Aguerd held up the distraught Hakimi after the miss while the fans in the stands chanted for one of their best players.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
Antonio Conte