History-making Morocco out to make Arab world proud

History-making Morocco out to make Arab world proud

History-making Morocco out to make Arab world proud

Morocco will be making their maiden appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 on Monday against Germany. They became the first Arab team ever to qualify after their Women’s Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals victory over Botswana. They then defeated Nigeria in the semi-finals, before ultimately losing the decider to South Africa 2-1.

Their squad is loaded with top-quality players, and their French coach has already written a new chapter in the history of Moroccan women’s football by leading them to the flagship event, where they will face Women’s UEFA EURO 2022 runners-up Germany, Colombia and Korea Republic in Group H.

Pedros’s approach and tactics After considerable success with Lyon, winning The Best FIFA Women’s Coach award in 2018, Pedros took charge of Morocco in November 2020. Since then, he has taken the team’s performances to another level. He prefers a balanced approach, combining a strong defence with an efficient attack. This was clear to see at the WAFCON, where the Atlas Lionesses scored nine goals and conceded just five, only one of which came in the group stage.

The Frenchman has instilled a real sense of belief in his players, cultivating a competitive, fighting spirit, putting his ideas across clearly, and building the squad’s belief in their ability to achieve their goals.

Key player: Ghizlane Chebbak

Playing her club football at ASFAR, Chebbak is the beating heart of the Moroccan national team. Born on 22 August 1990 in Casablanca, she learned football from her father, Larbi Chebbak, who had previously represented Morocco.

Ghizlane’s first team was Difaa Ain Sebaa, where her coach allowed her to play with the men in the absence of a women’s side. She then moved to the Club Rachad Bernoussi women’s team, followed in 2010 by a short stint in the Egyptian league with Makkasa, before returning to Morocco and joining ASFAR. There, Ghizlane has shone while winning the Moroccan Women’s Championship multiple times, and she has been named Moroccan player of the year in several seasons.

She has also excelled for the national team, playing a key role in their WAFCON 2022 campaign, which saw her named player of the group stage. “The Atlas Lionesses aren’t going to the World Cup to make up the numbers,” she said. “Our aim is to compete with the biggest teams at the tournament.”

One to watch: Nesryne El Chad

Despite her tender age, El Chad has proved a commanding presence on the pitch, forming a solid defensive partnership with Yasmin Mrabet. The Lille defender played a crucial role in key qualification matches, demonstrating both her level-headedness and fighting spirit at the AFCON.

Part of the Morocco side that missed out on qualification for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2022, she has now achieved her dream as part of the senior squad to qualify for Australia & New Zealand 2023. When El Chad netted in the group stage game against Uganda, she became the youngest Moroccan to score in the Africa Cup of Nations at just 19 years and 114 days.

Women’s World Cup history Morocco have never previously qualified, so Australia & New Zealand 2023 will be their first chance to light up the competition. Moreover, they will be the first Arab team to grace a Women’s World Cup.

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Source: https://www.zawya.com/en/life/sports/history-making-morocco-out-to-make-arab-world-proud-jgdsv7j7