• NT: Morocco coach praises new players after win over Uzbekistan

    (Africanfootball.com) Morocco coach Herve Renard has praised the new players who impressed in the Atlas Lions’ 2-0 win over Uzbekistan in an international friendly on Tuesday evening.

    Ayoub El Kaabi and Manuel da Costa scored the goals as the North Africans claimed victory at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca.

    El Kaabi, who was the star of Morocco’s 2018 African Nations Championship triumph, made a strong impression but Renard insists it’s too early to pencil in his name for the final 23-man squad which go to the World Cup in Russia.

    "I cannot tell you if [El Kaabi] won his place in the 23, already, I repeat again, there are many days and weeks that will flow to a first list to be delivered to FIFA around May 13th, so we must continue to follow his evolution with his club,” said the French tactician.

    “I think he was effective today as he has always been with the Moroccan national team at CHAN, but in the movements, synchronisation or complementarity with others, it was not always perfect, it's normal.”

    Other players who stood out were Schalke playmaker Amine Harit and right-back Oualid El Hajjam. Renard was pleased to see the new faces make a claim for inclusion in the squad ahead of Morocco’s trip to Russia 2018.

    "Amine had a very good match, you noticed that he made combinations with Soufiane Boufal, who gave us the advantage in the midfield, but that was not enough,” explained Renard.

    "Today like all nations, there are teams that are emerging. Amine Harit, Achraf Hakimi who was very good tonight, the same goes for the right-back, Oualid El Hajjam, who did the basics.

    “Morocco can be happy and ambitious with these young players who can shake things up in the future.”

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