Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Fifa Club World Cup: Hussein Amotta proud of Wydad Casablanca players despite defeat to Pachuca

Manager says club 'could've done better' to prepare for quarter-final after only arriving in Abu Dhabi 48 hours before kick off

Wydad’s Abdelatif Noussir and Amine El Attouchi confront referee Ravshan Irmatov during the Fifa Club World Cup match against Pachuca. Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters
Wydad’s Abdelatif Noussir and Amine El Attouchi confront referee Ravshan Irmatov during the Fifa Club World Cup match against Pachuca. Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

Wydad Casablanca manager Hussein Amotta said he was proud of his team despite their Fifa Club World Cup defeat to Mexico’s Pachuca on Saturday.

The Moroccan side, the African champions, lost 1-0 in the quarter-final at Zayed Sports City stadium, going down to Victor Guzman’s extra-time winner.

Making their tournament debut, Wydad had more than coped with four-time participants Pachuca in the first half, but had to play a significant period without captain Brahim Nakach. The midfielder was sent off on 69 minutes having collected a second yellow card for a rash challenge on Jorge Hernandez.

Wydad now play the fifth-placed play-off against Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday in Al Ain.

“Maybe we deserved better than this, but this is football,” Amotta said. “If you don’t take the chances you get … maybe it was the pressure on the players, but generally I think they did very well.

“They did what they could do. There were small mistakes and we paid the price for it, especially. Now we wait on the next game.”

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Wydad’s preparations for the match were not ideal, with the team’s arrival delayed because of what Amotta described pre-match as an issue at management level. As such, his side were the last of the four clubs from outside the Emirates featuring thus far to touch down in Abu Dhabi.

“We really did our best - we were the last team to arrive, 48 hours before the competition,” Amotta said. “But we didn’t recover, we were a bit jet-lagged. We could’ve done better.

“In regards to the game, we’ve done our best, we handled the match and we were great in the first 20 minutes. But because we were missing one player it did exhaust us. We tried our hardest; I don’t regret anything. The only regret I could have is that the captain of the team could have taken a better decision when already on a yellow card.”

Updated: December 10, 2017 10:28 AM

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