Atlas Lions lock horns with Les Elephants in Group D thriller

It would be Group D “Match of the Day” when Morocco locks horns with Cote d’Ivoire at the Cairo based El Salam Stadium on Friday night at 19:00 local time (17:00 GMT) as the group enters its match day 2.

After achieving identical 1-0 victories in the opening match day over Namibia and South Africa respectively, Atlas Lions (Morocco) and Les Elephants (Cote d’Ivoire) want to achieve another victory to make sure of their place in the knockout stages

Morocco emerged victorious when both sides locked horns at the same stage in the previous edition at Gabon 2017. A result that saw the Elephants eliminated from the group stage then. Morocco also knocked Cote d’Ivoire out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifications group.

But Cote d’Ivoire coach Ibrahim Kamara admitted there’s nothing called revenge in football, and that he just wants to see his side into the next round.

“There is nothing called revenge in football. We just play to win as we want to qualify to the next round”, Kamara said in the pre match press conference. “I worked with Morocco coach Herve Renard and I respect him well. He is a great coach with a very good team. But we are here to win and move on”, he added.

Meanwhile, Morocco coach Renard is facing an emotional experience when he once again faces the team he led to continental glory in 2015. “Memories are a beautiful part of my history. But what matters now is the present, and I’m now the coach of Morocco”, stated Renard.

“Being coach of this great team makes me proud. I’m lucky to coach these players and we want to go the farthest point”.

Previous AFCON encounters

20.03.1986     Cairo              Morocco 2-3 Cote d’Ivoire

19.03.1988     Casablanca    Morocco 0-0 Cote d’Ivoire

21.01.2006     Cairo              Morocco 0-1 Cote d’Ivoire

24.01.2017     Oyem             Morocco 1-0 Cote d’Ivoire

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