'Bafana is a good team,' says Morocco coach Walid Regragui ahead of Afcon qualifier

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Bafana Bafana players during the national men's team press conference at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium on June 16 2023.
Bafana Bafana players during the national men's team press conference at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium on June 16 2023.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Morocco coach Walid Regragui is expecting a tough encounter from a “good” Bafana Bafana team in their Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at FNB Stadium on Saturday (5pm). 

Both teams have qualified for the Afcon tournament in the Ivory Coast next year and are using this match as part of their preparations for the continental showpiece.

“I Know Bafana is a good team with a good coach, I know he wants to win at home because every team now want to beat Morocco in Africa. But we will try to do our best here in Johannesburg. 

“This game is not going to be easy for my team because we trained only for two days together. Some players have come back from the final of Uefa Conference League and some finished the season about a month ago. 

“What I have learnt is that every team now is after us, they want to beat us and this makes it very difficult. We need to improve and do our best every day to win games. 

“I think Bafana Bafana is a big team because they have qualified with us for Afcon next year, I think it is going to be a good game and I think we are going to attack each other because we have already qualified for Afcon. 

“I want to see my team enjoying the game and to show people that what they did at the World Cup was not a fluke.” 

Morocco beat South Africa in the first round of the qualifiers last year and Regragui says a lot has changed in the two teams since then. 

“I think it is a different game now, a lot of things have changed since the last time we met a year ago. I changed a lot of players in my team and it is the same with Bafana Bafana. 

“I know this team with a lot of players from Mamelodi Sundowns, they play good football, they are offensive and I think it is going to be a hard game for us on Saturday.

“I have a lot of players who are tired from a long season, some have played about 50 games, including the World Cup with so much emotion. Everybody wants to go on holiday but the job is not done yet and we need to do our best to get the three points and show that we are a big team in Africa.” 

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