The perfect start for Herve Renard yesterday as his reign as Manager of the Atlas Lions got off to a win and a vital one at that. The win over rivals Cape Verde saw them took the lead in their Qualification Group for the 2017 African Cup of Nations.
This is a tournament that Herve knows very well after winning the 2012 and 2015 editions with Zambia and Ivory Coast respectively. Not only is he hoping to the first person to win the tournament three times as a Coach he also looking to win it while being charge of a different nation each time.
Morocco took the lead thanks to a Youssef El-Arabi Penalty after 25 Minutes. Without sounding Cliche it was a naive piece of African Defending from Cape Verde. A clumsy tackle and a gift for Morocco which El-Arabi duly slotted home to give Morocco the lead.
Cape Verde had an excellent chance to level the game just before the half time, a perfectly weighted cross was met with a header back across goal which on any other day would have gone in and leveled the scores but the Moroccan Goalkeeper Munir Mohammed pulled off a stunning save to keep Morocco in front
That would turn out to be enough as Morocco sat on their 1-0 lead to close out the group and give Herve a winning start. More importantly Herve was wearing the trademark white shirt and after a few months away from the touchline he certainly hasn’t lost any of that gallic flair. It was a particularly windswept Afternoon in Praia but Herve looked effortlessly cool as the wind swept through his hair
The two sides meet again on Tuesday for what will be the crucial group game, if Morocco can manage not to lose then they will have all but secured top spot of the group. A win for Cape Verde will see them go back top and then it will be a race for goal difference in the other two group minnows Sao Tome e Principe and Libya.
Here is all the important action from Yesterday