The Atlas Lions coach admitted his side faces a major challenge in their quest to reach the competition’s final
Coach Houcine Ammouta disclosed Morocco face a tough challenge as the Atlas Lions’ African Nations Championship title defence fate will come down to Wednesday’s semi-final clash with Cameroon.
First-half goals from Soufiane Rahimi, Mohammed Ali Bemammer and Ayoub El Kaabi inspired the North Africans to a 3-1 victory over Zambia in their quarter-final encounter played at Stade de la Reunification, Douala.
Despite playing against the hosts, Morocco are favourites to qualify for the final because they are the tournament’s highest-scoring side with nine goals as well as boasting quality players at their disposal.
Even at that, the tactician claims the Indomitable Lions – who struggled to qualify for the knockout phase – pose a big threat to their ambitions because they have grown to be self-assured.
“Both teams have gained the momentum it takes to get to this stage of the competition, and I believe we need to focus on the technical-tactical performance,” Ammouta told Caf website.
“I know it will be a tough game because we are playing against the hosts who also have a good team.
“We have to produce beautiful football to the public and that’s all we have to do to be focused at the moment.”
On the other hand, the Indomitable Lions boss Martin Mpile is upbeat that his team has what it takes to emerge victorious against the more experienced side, who are poised to defend the diadem won on home soil in the 2018 edition.
“We are here to win and get to the finals by making life uncomfortable for our adversaries. We are serene. It’s up to us to go to the finals,” he said.
“It will be a good game and we are determined to go through.”
Against Cameroon who are reaching this stage of the competition for their first time ever, coach Ammouta would be banking on striker Soufiane Rahimi to wreak havoc.
The 24-year-old Raja Casablanca goal merchant is the joint highest goalscorer with Guinea’s Yakhouba Barry on three goals each.
The winners of this encounter will face either Mali or Guinea in Sunday’s final billed for Yaounde’s Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaounde.