Tanzania coach Adel Amrouche conceded that his tactical plan failed as the Taifa Stars suffered a 3-0 defeat against Morocco in their Africa Cup of Nations opener at the Stade Laurent Pokou on Wednesday.
The 2022 World Cup semifinalist shot into the lead and it was Hakim Ziyech who saw his free kick parried out by Salum Manula only for oncoming Roman Saiss to pounce on for the game’s opener.
Walid Regragui’s Morocco took control of the game from the 70th minute when Taifa Stars defender Novatus Miroshi was shown a second yellow card and Tanzania were reduced to ten men.
Morocco worked their way up to the cushioning through Azzedine Ounahi who after receiving a pass inside the box and without hesitation powered a thunderbolt to the underside of the goal for a 2-0 lead at 77 minutes.
Yousseff En Nesyri scored his own and Morocco’s third after receiving a pass inside the penalty area from Achraf Hakimi and showed composure before finding the far corner of the goal to put Morocco 3-0 up against Tanzania.
“Our game plan failed. We did not expect this scenario but I congratulate Morocco for their performance and result,” said Amrouche after the game, adding: “The quality of Morocco’s players made the difference and they deserved to win. We wanted a good result but I also had a lot of injuries which did not help us. We then made individual mistakes.”
On Tanzania’s chances of qualifying from the group, the former Kenya coach said: “I’m trying to stay optimistic. We will correct our errors from this game and focus on the upcoming matches,” adding: “It won’t be easy but we still have a chance.”