‘We played Morocco with fear of losing,’ says Belgium coach Martinez.

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'We played Morocco with fear of losing,' says Belgium coach Martinez.
‘We played Morocco with fear of losing,’ says Belgium coach Martinez.

Roberto Martinez, the head coach of Belgium, has stated that his team entered their match against Morocco on Sunday fearing defeat.

Abdelhamid Sabiri’s goal in the 73rd minute and Zakaria Aboukhlal’s goal in the 92nd minute in the second half gave the Atlas Lions their first victory in a World Cup since France 1998.

Morocco entered their last group game against already-eliminated Canada with four points after the victory.

Martinez responded to the shocking loss by outlining how his squad lost against the North Africans.

“That is a mindset, not a lack of quality, in my opinion. We played far better with the ball than we did against Canada and found ourselves in some really advantageous situations, but in the final third, the next pass and the link-up were both missed.

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“I believe that we played with a fear of losing because we were unable to find that spare man.

“That is hard to explain since we have been a squad that consistently finds ways to score over the last six years. We had scored goals in over 50 straight games prior to this one, but we were unable to do it here, and it cost us.

The players put so much effort into supporting one another off the field, but when it comes to enjoying themselves on the field, we need to improve. We must be authentic.

“I think we’ve reached the point [against Croatia] when we have nothing left to lose.

It is a prize to be won. We have the potential, and our goal-scoring prowess has always been one of our team’s strengths, so it would be a wonderful start for us at this World Cup.

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