Sofiane Boufal of Morocco challenged by Lawrence Chaziya of Malawi during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon Finals Last 16 match between Morocco and Malawi at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon on 25 January 2022 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Wednesday Jan 26, 2022. 09:59
The Flames took a shock lead through Gabadinho Mhango after just seven minutes at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, but the Atlas Lions rallied as goals from Youssef En-Nesyri (45′) and Achraf Hakimi (70′) secured the comeback win.
They now await the winners of Wednesday’s clash between Ivory Coast and Egypt in the quarter-finals and Halilhodzic admits his players need to raise their performance levels to reach the semis for the first time since 2004.
However, the Bosnian tactician praised the way the North Africans were able to stamp their authority on proceedings in Yaounde after going behind so early in the match.
“It was not an easy game. When we conceded the goal, it made my team react and it was very complex. In the second half we didn’t lose concentration and managed to organize ourselves and take control of the game,” Halilhodzic said in his post-match interview.
“We will remain committed and look to win the next games. We had plenty of chances and hesitated a lot. I hope that in the next game we will be more effective.
“I hope that the players who are injured recover and join the squad soon. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, we are aware that we are not at the level we want. I believe that with more games like these we can gain more confidence.”