The Atlas Lionesses of Morocco will be hoping to continue their fairy-tale run at the FIFA Women’s World Cup when they meet France in the round of 16 of the tournament on Tuesday.
Just like their male counterparts who reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Morocco women’s national team has carved their own historic path at the global stage by qualifying for the round of 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in their first attempt, joining Nigeria and South Africa.
Not only have they achieved this remarkable feat in their first attempt, but Morocco also became the first African nation to win two successive FIFA Women’s World Cup matches – this after suffering a 6-0 loss in their opening match where many wrote them off from the tournament.
Following their disappointing opening match, the Atlas Lionesses showed resilience with a 1-0 win over Korea Republic before roaring into the round of 16 with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Colombia.
With a knockout stage spot fully secured against France, a lot will be expected of the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations silver-medalists against the 5th ranked France, who carry the favourites tag going into the clash.
The Europeans were held to a goalless stalemate by Jamaica in their opening match before pulling off one of the tournament upsets with a 2-1 victory over Brazil, before thrashing Panama 6-3 to secure a meeting with Morocco in the round of 16.
A lot of insight will be expected from their French-born coach, Reynald Pedros in identifying areas to exploit in the France team, something that the coach is well capable of after displaying his tactical acumen in masterminding the two victories that saw his side make history.