Morocco national team head coach Vahid Halilhodzic claims that his side’s main priority is to win the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021.
The Atlas Lions will face Malawi Flames on Tuesday in Yaounde, for the account of the Round of 16.
It will be a battle that will put two teams who will be fighting for their lives in the race to win the coveted continental trophy.
“The players are aware that they must have a combative attitude. The competition has shown here that there are no favorites,” Halilhodzic said.
“Everyone can move forward. We will enter this game with maximum concentration.”
“Fortunately, our players are ready to give their contribution. We came here to win, and our hope is to qualify.”
“I am happy because this is a generation that in a few years will make history. They have the potential to move on,” he added.
Morocco qualified on top of Group B on seven points. After two wins 1-0 over Ghana and 2-0 over Comoros, Atlas Lions came from behind twice to have a 2-2 draw with Gabon.
A late Achraf Hakimi goal made Morocco finish on top of the group.
This is the Atlas Lions’ 18th appearance in this competition, as they are eyeing their second title, almost 46 years after winning their lone title in 1976.
Meanwhile, Malawi had already written a history for themselves, going beyond the group stage for the very first time in their third appearance.
After falling 1-0 to Guinea, the Flames responded in style, beating COSAFA neighbors Zimbabwe 2-1 before holding giants Senegal to a goalless draw that ensured their place in the Round of 16 as one of the best four third-place teams.
A feat that raised the morale of Malawi players to the highest levels, and facing Morocco, they have nothing to lose and everything to win against the 1976 champions.