Taoussi finally attains balance in Morocco’s attacking ranks
To some people, football is a foreign film without subtitles. One of those people is Eric Gerets. For all the blinding achievements of his managerial CV, the simplicity of finding the equilibrium between an exposed defence and a superabundance of attacking players seemed to be a crippling problem for the Belgian during his time in charge of Morocco.
His successor Rachid Taoussi not only tried to attain balance by dropping several attacking midfielders and going back to basics, but also brought effervescence that was contagious on Saturday as he patrolled the Marrakech touchline like the ebullient uncle cracking jokes at a family wedding. After a nervy opening 20 minutes, for an hour or so thereafter the Lions of the Atlas had imperious control of midfield as they pinned Mozambique inside their own half and pummelled them without respite; captain Houssine Kharja drove from midfield with malevolent intent; Abdelaziz Barrada showed Adel Taarabt how to play football without gewgaw; Oussama Assaidi’s half-time introduction added incision and end-product; the substitution of Younes Belhanda for Nordin Amrabat brought more impetuous into Moroccan forward line as they went in search of more goals; and Youssef El Arabi’s futsal dynamism sealed the aesthetics and added further variation in attack.