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“The real competition starts now”, says Morocco’s U23 coach Charai



Hosts Morocco is the only team to have won all their matches in the group stage at the ongoing CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023.

They began with a 2-1 victory against Guinea, followed by a dominant 5-1 win over Ghana, and concluded the group stage with a 1-0 triumph against Congo Brazzaville in the last Group A match played in Rabat on Friday night.

However, their head coach, Issame Charaï, emphasized that since the group stage is now complete for them, they are entering another tournament as they head into the semi-finals.

“It is another tournament that begins. We don’t know our opponent yet, and we will follow the matches on Saturday to see who we will face next,” added the Moroccan coach.

Charaï had the opportunity to make several changes in the team that faced Congo Brazzaville and mentioned that they have a squad of talented players whom they want to provide with exposure.


“The mission is accomplished. I’m pleased with the performance my boys showed today because there is no A or B team,” he added.

He praised the young players who have worked hard to ensure three consecutive victories and advance to the semifinal stage as they aim to qualify for the Paris Olympics and secure the U23 AFCON title.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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