South Africa coach Gordon Igesund is proud of seeing his side reach the last eight of the African Cup of Nations on home soil.
His team were indebted to a late Siyabonga Sangweni leveller against Morocco on Sunday, to secure top spot in Group A and their passage to the last eight – the first time since 2002.
“Obviously we feel very proud that we’ve achieved our first objective; that was a tough match out there today. Now we have to look forward to our next game and the next 20 hours we are going to just relax,” Igesund said.
“I feel very proud of the players because I can see that the South African fans are proud. Without their support today, they lifted the players up on two different occasions and we feel very thankful for that.”
Morocco coach Rachid Taoussi was forced to defend his side’s performance, saying they have played well despite not progressing to the quarter-finals.
“We walk out with dignity and honourably and it is a very good game and I am very happy with the team,” Taoussi said.
“I just want to say they played very well and I’m very happy with them because they had to improve the things and it came right and all the games and all the tactics were very good ones”
The coach went on to say he is excited about the future of Morocco football and is looking forward to helping them improve.
“I think we’ve passed all of the bad times, the hard times since we last walked out from Gabon. But now in South Africa we just made the draw in the last minute and we fought for it so I think we just passed the hard time and we are doing positively now,” Taoussi said.
“We have been knocked out from the competition in the dying minutes of the tournament. But without any losses I think we have passed a stage and I think the Moroccan national team carried on with a fixed plan to develop and generate the future of the team.”