Rabat – The Atlas Lions’ performance at the pre-World Cup friendly game against Slovakia has received loud applause and admiration from the Spanish press in the countdown to the FIFA world premier tournament.
Spanish-based international sports outlets Marca and Mundo Deportivo have praised the Moroccan Atlas Lions, who confirmed that they will do their best to achieve good results in the World Cup 2018, which will kick off on June 14 in Russia.
Marca wrote after the game that the Moroccan team will not have an insignificant role in the World Cup, as the Atlas Lions proved themselves a strong rival during the friendly game against Slovakia.
Morocco, a tough team in a “deadly group”
The other teams in Group B, dubbed “the deadly group” in the World Cup, should fear the Atlas Lions for what they can show from good performances during the competition.
“Both Spain and Portugal are going to have a tough rival on their way. This was confirmed in the game that the North African team played against Slovakia on Monday,” wrote Marca.
According to the news outlet, the national team has delivered a show of “speed, verticality, pressure and intensity that dismayed Slovakia at all times.”
Spain aware of Atlas Lions’ strength
Marca said that the coach of the Spanish team, Julen Lopetegui, has to “take good notes of what was seen in Geneva,” where the game between Slovakia and Morocco was played.
Lopetegui has already recognized the threat Morocco poses to his team.
After the World Cup’s final draw, which took place on December 1, 2017, Lopetegui said that Morocco’s national team is “one of the toughest teams” for excluding the Ivorian team in the World Cup qualifiers.
Lopetegui also told Marca in January that he believes that Morocco is the best team in Africa, adding that the Atlas Lions “achieved their objective in a wonderful way, without letting any goals and by knocking out Ivory Coast, one of Africa’s strongest teams.”
For Marca, “it is clear which team was preparing” for the World Cup.
The Atlas Lions have also impressed Mundo Deportivo with their fascinating defense and attacking skills. Following the game, the sports news source said that the Moroccan national football team “showed that they are a rocky group and difficult to beat.”
According to the source, Morocco’s national football team knows what they are going for.
The Moroccan national football team played a friendly game against Slovakia on Monday, scoring two spectacular goals, against Slovakia’s one goal.
Slovakia opened the scoring at the 59th minute. Morocco, however, was quick to respond with an excellent header from Moroccan star Ayoub El Kaabi, who rocked the game in the second half.
The winning goal was delivered by midfielder Younes Belhanda in the 74th minute of the match. Morocco will play their last pre-World Cup friendly game against Estonia on June 9.
When the tournament begins, Morocco will face Iran on June 15 in St. Petersburg. Their second game will be against Portugal on June 20 in Moscow. Morocco will play the last game in the first round of the World Cup against Spain on June 25 in Kaliningrad.