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Croatia draw thrills Morocco coach

Morocco coach Walid Regragui says holding Croatia to a goalless draw in their first game of the World Cup will give them confidence.

The North Africans, who also face Belgium and Canada in Group F in Qatar, suffered a group-stage exit in Russia four years ago after losing their first two games.

Their opener against 2018 runners-up Croatia was a largely uneventful encounter with few significant chances.

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“When you begin with a loss, your dream is finished,” said Regragui, who was only appointed as Morocco coach in late August.

“This game gives us more confidence. I think it’s a very good point for us.”

The Atlas Lions, who have not won a World Cup match since beating Scotland 3-0 in 1998, forced Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic into second-half saves with efforts from full-backs Noussair Mazraoui and Achraf Hakimi.

“We were not able to win this match but the outcome was great,” Regragui, 47, added.

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“We did our best and I am proud of the boys. This match was on a really high level.”

But Regragui conceded his team will have to get better if they are to reach the last 16 of the competition.

“We played with balance like the European teams, we wanted to pose a threat to Croatia and get a good result, but the main objective was not to lose. We have to improve and develop a winning mentality,” he said.

Morocco’s draw means African sides are yet to win a match at this year’s finals.

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