Mbark El Id Abdou of Mauritania controls ahead of Abdelilah Hafidi of Morocco during the 2018 Chan game between Morocco and Mauritania at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco on 13 January 2018 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Monday Jan 15, 2018. 17:00
Mauritania coach Corentin Martins has said that defeat to Morocco in the opening game of the 2018 African Nations Championship was “normal” because of the chasm in ability between the teams.
The Atlas Lions claimed an emphatic 4-0 win over Mauritania in their opening Group A game in Casablanca on Saturday, though they had to wait until 21 minutes into the second half to break the deadlock and open the floodgates.
In the end, a brace from Ayoub El Kaabi and goals from Ismail Haddad and Achraf Bencharki took Morocco to the three points, though ‘Les Mourabitounes’ could be proud of their work in the opening hour.
“The first half was a miracle, we were able to abort many attempts, but Moroccans managed to dominate the game in the second half,” explained Martins, who added that losing to the hosts was no surprise to him.
“It is normal. They [Morocco] work on themselves intensively, some of the players won the Champions League. There are too many differences between our players and theirs.”
Mauritania will return to Group A action on Wednesday evening when they face Sudan in Casablanca.