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Futsal AFCON: Ghana had nothing to lose – Hicham Dguig

Morocco’s coach, Hicham Dguig, acknowledged that despite their commanding 8-3 victory over Ghana in Group A of the TotalEnergies CAF Futsal AFCON, the Black Stars posed challenges for his team during the match.

The hosts conceded three goals in the first half against Philip Boakye’s Ghana, who are making their first appearance in the tournament since its inception in 1996.

“Ghana had nothing to lose during the match, and they caused us some problems,” said the two-time AFCON winner. “We made some mistakes, but in the second half, we regained our organization and scored three times without conceding.”

The Atlas Lions only need a point against Zambia to confirm their place in the semifinals of the competition, which also serves as the qualifying tournament for the FIFA Futsal World Cup.

“To qualify for the World Cup, we need to excel in the AFCON, and there are several aspects we need to address,” Dguig stated. “We should be ready tactically and physically. We have the mental aspect and the form, but we must continue working in the same way until the end of the competition.

“The teams are familiar with our style of play, but we are yet to fully understand theirs. We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, and although we scored after the 11th minute in the second half, we should have capitalized more,” he added.

The hosts have enjoyed tremendous support from their fans in the matches against Angola and Ghana, and Dguig welcomes the public’s keen interest in his team’s performance.

“We won 8-3, but simultaneously, the fans are lamenting the players’ mistakes and the missed goal-scoring opportunities. This is positive; it demonstrates the people’s desire for more from their team.

“The match against Zambia will be decisive because we are facing motivated teams; now, Morocco is the team to beat,” he concluded.

Ghana’s coach, Philip Boayke, is focusing on Monday’s final group match against Angola while acknowledging Morocco’s greater experience.

“We approached the game with a tactical variation, but Morocco’s tactical play, coupled with their experience, prevailed. We will analyze the match, identify our mistakes, and bounce back against Angola,” he stated.

“Morocco is one of the best teams globally, and their experience, coupled with excellent preparation, was evident in their victory over Ghana.”

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Daraja Kapoor

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