Abderrazak Hamdallah’ last-minute decision to quit the Moroccan squad heightened doubts about the team’s championship chances at this year’s CAN tournament.
Rabat- Nordin Amrabat, the winger whose impressive form has catapulted Morocco in the knockout stage of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN), is hoping that the squad can sustain the combative spirit and formidable shape they displayed yesterday.
Morocco was superior to Ivory Coast in yet another confrontation between the two. And Nordin Amrabat, the man whose numerous heroics elicited thunderous applause from the 15,000 fans present at the Cairo Stadium, is counting on his teammates to carry on the “good atmosphere” and the “good work.”
Amrabat was voted the man of the match, mostly due to the glorious attacking gesture with which he beautifully set up Youssef En-Nesyri for the game’s only goal. Speaking during a post-match press conference, Amrabat emphasized the squad’s quality and ambitions.
“We play good together,” Amrabat began as he stressed the importance of team spirit. From his perspective, though, En-Nesyri was the player who stood out and deserved to be named the man of the match.
But Amrabat also believes the Leganes striker could have been more clinical. “Unfortunately he [En-Nesyri] didn’t score a second goal; he had a few good chances. But he did a good job.”
Inevitably, Amrabat was asked about Abderrazak Hamdallah, his club teammate and compatriot who dramatically exited the national team just a week before CAN.
Although the Moroccan footballing authorities officially said that Hamdallah left the team due to an injury in his back and groin, there have been credible suggestions that the Al Nassr striker left because of a feud with attacking midfielder Faycal Fajr as well as a sinking feeling that he was not welcome in the Renard-coached group.
Hamdallah’ last-minute decision to walk out of the Moroccan squad heightened doubts about the team’s championship chances at this year’s CAN tournament.
Most of the criticism revolved around the fact that Morocco’s team has not been particularly efficient in the attacking department, and letting go of a prolific goal scorer like Hamdallah was to many fans a huge mistake. Others hinted at the seeming lack of harmony in the group, raising concerns about the squad’s team spirit and readiness to stick together in vital moments.
But after yesterday’s brilliant performance, Amrabat played down those concerns. “Of course, Razak Hamdallah is also a good player and a good guy. But… he is not here now. So we want to focus on the players who are here. We keep on the good work; we keep on the good atmosphere. Two games 6 points, Alhamdulillah. We want to carry on like this and we will see where it’s gonna end.”