Home » 2022 Qatar WC: Walid Regragui becomes first African coach to lead team 1/4 final

2022 Qatar WC: Walid Regragui becomes first African coach to lead team 1/4 final

by Lesley Ngwa
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Head Coach of Morocco’s National team, Walid Ragragui makes history by becoming the first African coach to lead an African team to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup.

Taking over at the helm of the Lion’s Den in August 2021 from former head coach Vahid Halilhodžić, Walid eventually led Morocco to book a World Cup qualification ticket and saw them to the knockout stage for the first time since 1986 as well as the quaquarter-finalsausing Morocco to be the first Arab nation to create this record.

Walid Ragragui began his coaching career with Morocco’s National Team in September 2012 as assistant coach to Rachid Touassi, after he retired from playing football.

He has now seen the Atlas Lions sail through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World cup in Qatar for the First time, denying Spain a chance in a fierce 3-0 post-match Penalty win.

It was at this moment that Spain was kissed goodbye from the competition at the knockout stage, failing to convert a single penalty from three spot kicks.

Goalkeeper Yassine Bounou denied all three penalties from Sergio Busquets, Soler Carlos, and Pablo Sarabia.

For the first time, Spain’s first penalty taker in a World Cup shootout has missed and this record was broken by a least expected and underrated African side.

Composed strikes from Hakim Ziyech, Abdelhamid Sabiri, and Achraf Hakimi sent Morocco through to the quarter-finals for the first time in the country’s World Cup participation history.

Only Badr Benoun was denied a chance of scoring the third for Morocco by goalkeeper Simon Unai before Hakimi walked up to the spot and scored the winning goal.

Morocco becomes the second African nation to be involved in a World Cup penalty shootout, with Ghana losing against Uruguay in 2010, but the very first African nation to win a penalty shootout at the World Cup.

Morocco is the fourth African Nation to reach the quarter-final of a World Cup tournament, after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.

It should be noted that Morocco is the only African Country in this World Cup edition that reached the round of 16 undefeated and top of their pool with seven points, beating Belgium, and Canada and holding Vice champions Croatia to a zero-all draw.

They equally have not conceded any goal since the start of their campaign.

They have now joined Brazil, France, Argentina, Netherlands, and Croatia in the last eight.

Coach Walid Ragragui and his boys will have to face the winner of Portugal versus Switzerland encounter tonight, in the quarter-final phase.

Morocco is Africa’s lone representative left in the competition following the elimination of Ghana, Tunisia, Senegal, and Cameroon.

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