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‘We beat Brazil, in the middle of Ramadan’: Morocco coach on historic win

March 26, 2023 at 1:11 pm

Abdelhamid Sabiri of Morocco celebrates after scoring their second side goal with Yahya Attiat Allah of Morocco during the international friendly match between Morocco and Brazil at Grand Stade de Tanger on March 25, 2023 in Tangier, Morocco. [Alex Caparros/Getty Images]

Morocco clinched a historic victory against Brazil yesterday in a friendly international match in Tangiers, beating the five-time World Cup winners for the first time ever and during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Continuing with their own ground-breaking achievement in the 2022 Qatar World Cup after becoming the first Arab and African side to reach the semi-finals, the Atlas Lions beat Brazil 2-1 having taken the lead after 29 minutes. Only ten of the 23-man squad that took Brazil to a disappointing quarter-final in Qatar were present for the friendly with Neymar absent due to injury.

Reacting to the win, Moroccan coach Walid Regragui who took the North African side to last four in Qatar, said how the team won in spite of breaking their fasts hours before kick-off. “We beat Brazil, in the middle of Ramadan, after the Tarawih prayer. It’s crazy!” he said referring to the voluntary night prayers performed in the month.

Ahead of the game Regragui said “We’ll play a good match, to show that what we did in the World Cup was no fluke,” adding that “We also have the quality to do something big.”

Sofiane Boufal who scored the opening goal for Morocco was quoted by Telefoot after the game as saying: “We’re still dreaming! We’re continuing our momentum from the World Cup and it’s a pleasure.”

Prior to yesterday’s fixture, Morocco had suffered defeats in their only two other encounters with Brazil (2-0 in a 1997 friendly and 3-0 in the group stages of the France ’98 World Cup). According to current FIFA rankings, Brazil is considered the best team in the world, while Morocco is ranked in 11th place.

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