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The BBC's John Bennett Hailed Walid Regragui's Game Plan Against Luis Enrique In The Mundial.

Morocco's Atlas Lions advanced to the quarterfinals of the worldwide championship in Qatar on Tuesday, defeating Spain 3-0 on penalties.

Morocco became the fourth African country to reach the World Cup quarterfinals after Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.

Morocco is the only African nation remaining at the World Cup, even though Senegal joined the Atlas Lions to qualify for the round of 16, but was kicked out by the Three Lions of England.

Walid Regragui was one of the five local coaches from Africa that led their side to the Mundial in Qatar, and he was coaching on the big stage for the first time in his coaching career.

Walid made a name for himself at the World Cup by defeating Belgium and Canada and drawing a goalless draw with former finalist Croatia in the group stage opener. 

Morocco was the best African side after attaining seven points in the group and leading the table at the end of group matches in the competition.

Since Walid Regragui took charge of the Atlas Lions on August 31, 2022, no team has scored a goal against his side; the only goal conceded was against Canada, but it was an own goal from central defender Nayef Aguerd of West Ham United.

Last Tuesday at the Education City Stadium in Qatar, Achraf Hakimi struck the decisive penalty to send Spain crashing out and Morocco into the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time, winning 3-0 in a shootout after a 0-0 draw.

Walid Regragui's team will meet Portugal in unfamiliar territory, with their previous best being a last-16 exit in 1986.

Spain dominated possession, but Morocco's sturdy defence kept them at bay and denied clear-cut chances, something Regragui stated the team worked on for four days on their gameplan to lessen the influence of midfield trio Sergio Busquets, Pedri, and Gavi.

Regragui said in a post-match press conference, "We had agreed not to take possession—not out of fear; we are humble enough to say that we are not yet France, Germany, or England to compete with them in terms of possession. Nobody managed to steal the ball from them, so I accepted not having the ball. I’m not a magician."

John Bennett, a well-known BBC Sport and BBC World Service broadcaster, shared the same sentiment with coach Walid Regragui; he tweeted on his handle that the coach had his gameplan in place for the match against Spain. 

He tweeted with the caption, "Can’t believe there is any criticism of Walid Regragui & Morocco’s counter-attacking style v Spain. Did people genuinely expect him to play into Luis Enrique’s hands just to make it more entertaining?! They were underdogs. & Morocco had the best chances. Regragui got it spot on."

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