African Teams and Their Chances at the 2018 FIFA World Cup - Morocco

Lions of the Atlas
 Representing the continent of Africa in Group B is the Moroccan National football team also known as "Lions of the Atlas".

They are drawn in the same group as European champions Portugal, 2010 World Cup winners Spain and Iran. The group is regarded as one of the toughest world cup groups and no other African team is in a better position to cause an upset in any group than Morocco. The 2018 event will be their 4th outing in the world cup with their best effort coming in Mexico 86' where they became the first African team to top a World Cup group finishing ahead of Portugal, Poland and England.

The Lions of the Atlas eventually lost 1-0 to runners-up West Germany. The 2018 World Cup will be their first in 20 years.

In the 2018 FIFA World Cup African qualifiers, they qualified ahead of great teams like Mali, Ivory Coast and Gabon, scoring 11 goals and conceding none.

Hakim Ziyech in action
The Mehdi Benatia of Juventus led team have only conceded 11 goals in their last 23 matches.
Coached by French defensive protégé Herve Renard, the team relies on defensive prowess and quick counter attack with mobile playmaker Hakim Ziyech leading the onslaught. So far, they have won their last two friendlies against Slovakia and Estonia 2-1 & 3-1 respectively.

Their opening game will be against Iran on June 15. Should they defeat Iran, they will stand a chance of causing a big upset which will see either Spain or Portugal eliminated. The second group game will come up five days later on June 20 against Portugal whom they defeated 3-1 in the 1986 edition before facing Spain in the last group fixture on June 25.

If there are any African teams that hold great promise, Morocco is one of them.

Watch out for them.

By Ngozi Fortune Onwordi

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