Morocco tried unsuccessfully three times to qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup, but in each case they were always thwarted by their North African rivals Egypt. This time around they benefited from an enlarged African contingent at the world finals as they grabbed one of three places reserved for the continent.
As the third-ranked African team, the Moroccans were expected to be in the mix for a place at the finals. A disappointing 4-1 defeat at home against Mozambique in their final qualifying game would suggest that coach Hicham Dguig still has plenty of work ahead of him if he is hoping to extend the team's stay in Thailand beyond the group stages. Dguig is confident though that the players will be up to the task. "It's a feeling of pride, but also a heavy responsibility," he said.
“The most important thing was to qualify, and we succeeded. It was not easy, despite the victory margin during the first leg in Maputo. We are going to correct our mistakes and work on the psychological aspect of things before the finals. We hope to be able to impress in Thailand," said Dguig after the 4-1 defeat at home in Rabat against Mozambique.
Facts and figures
Adil Habil and Yahya Baya
Qualifying in numbers
Like fellow finalists Libya, Morocco had to play just two matches to qualify for their first-ever FIFA Futsal World Cup finals. After Guinea Bissau's withdrawal, the North Africans faced Mozambique in the final round and secured their place in Thailand with a 7-6 aggregate victory.
7 – The number of goals Morocco scored to advance to the finals in Thailand. After winning their away leg in Mozambique 6-2, they slumped to a 4-1 defeat at home, but still went through 7-6 on aggregate.