Morocco's Sellami vows to take nothing for granted vs. Namibia
Morocco coach Jamal Sellami has vowed that the African Nations Championship hosts will respect their quarter-final opponents - surprise package Namibia - in Saturday's last-eight clash in Casablanca.
The Atlas Lions cruised through Group A as winners after taking seven points from their three fixtures to set up a showdown with tournament minnows Namibia, who defied the odds to progress from Group B alongside Uganda.
The Brave Warriors are making their first appearance at the CHAN, but progressed after late victories over Ivory Coast and Uganda before drawing with already qualified Zambia in their final group game.
"We respect opponents who have eliminated the Ivory Coast and Uganda, and held Zambia," Sellami told journalists in Friday's press conference. "We're capable of finding solutions even if Namibia close the game.
"We have to reach the semi final, and to do this, we have to beat Namibia," he continued. "They're solid, they don't score many, but they don't concede many either, so it's up to us to demonstrate our efficiency.
"All of our players are ready for the match, and we have a good team ready to get past this Namibian obstacle."
Despite Sellami's confidence, Morocco will have to do without influential playmaker Abdelilah Hafidi, who was injured in the second group game against Guinea and won't be available until the semi finals at the earliest.
However, Salaheddine Saidi should return from the injury he sustained against the Syli Nationale, and other key members of Sellami's side should be fresh after the coach rotated almost his entire side for the draw with Sudan.
"This match is going to be difficult, but we're ready," the home-based Lions coach continued. "It's been 18 months that we've been preparing for this.
"We qualified for the CHAN by eliminating Egypt, we won all of our friendlies, and we have the assets to be champions."
Morocco meet Namibia at 16:30 local time in the first of Saturday's quarter finals before Zambia and Sudan clash in Marrakech.
On Sunday, Nigeria and Angola go head to head in Tanger, while Congo-Brazzaville meet Libya in Agadir in the day's late kick off.
Ed Dove is the Soccer Editor for KweséESPN. Follow him on Twitter @EddyDove.