Didier Deschamps speaks during the press conference at Main Media Center in Doha on Tuesday. Reuters
Mohammad Abdullah, Senior Sports Reporter
A wary France coach Didier Deschamps is hoping that they can penetrate the water-tight defence of Morocco in their FIFA World Cup semi-final match on Wednesday.
World champions France are on course for their title defence, but before that they face Morocco hurdle.
The African nation has created a sensation in the World Cup with their impeccable run-up to the semi-finals.
They became the first team from Africa to reach the semis and are keeping the hopes of Africa and pan-Arab world alive.
Morocco has displayed a steely resolve and with their sheer determination and passion, they have sent teams like Spain and Portugal packing, despite being several places down in the rankings to their much superior opponents.
Morocco’s strength lies in their defence. They have managed to keep their slate clean in four matches conceding just one goal in their five games so far.
“Hope, we can find a solution to break down their defence and score some goals. But it is not only the defence, but they are a strong side as a whole otherwise they would have not reached here.
“They have got some very good playmakers and we have been watching them closely. We are trying to find something and make a strategy to score a goal against them. We are going to break their defence down,” he said.
He refused to draw any comparisons between his World Cup-winning team and the current squad. Players like Karim Benzema and Paul Pogba are the significant absences from the current French team.
Both the players have been important cogs in the wheel of French juggernaut in the past. Both Benzema and Pogba are nursing niggling injuries, which has kept them out of the showpiece event.
“I don’t like to compare my teams. Some of the players have changed and some are missing because of injuries. But we have managed to reach the semi-finals, which means we are a strong team. We played against big teams and defeated them to reach here. I have some young players to choose from and they mingle with the experienced ones which makes the squad well-balanced,” he added.
He was also full of praise for his Moroccan counter-part Walid Regragui, who guided his team to the semi-final of the World Cup.
“Waleed has done an exceptional job. It is a fantastic achievement for him and his team. We are analyzing their matches closely and looking at the statistics.
“Data is very important but sometimes it shows one information and hides the other. It can be a bit dicey at times. We have to take into consideration even the minute things,” he informed.
“I know it is going to be a bit noisy there tomorrow and they have great support here but that is the part and parcel of the game and as a professional we should be used to playing in such conditions. Such things cannot stop from scoring a goal. And you should be prepared for it,” he stressed.
Deschamps also showered praise on Aurelien Tchouameni, who scored a goal against England in their quarter-final match.
“He is a very talented player. He had a great tournament so far. He is doing a lot of things. Sometimes, he is busy in the midfield other times he is setting up a goal for the others. He is a bit of a character. He has a very challenging role to play in the upcoming matches,” said the coach.
“We will try to keep possession as much as possible, But it is not only about keeping the ball we will also try to create chances and convert them into goals,” he concluded.
Morocco coach Walid Regragui vowed to create history by beating holders France in the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Wednesday.
Theo Hernandez put the defending champions ahead in the fifth minute after Morocco failed to clear their lines and substitute Randal Kolo Muani doubled their lead in the 79th minute.
France captain Hugo Lloris stressed that nothing but only the feeling of competition will prevail among the players of both the teams at the World Cup semi-final.
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