Algeria and Egypt keen on Herve Renard after Morocco impress at World Cup

Herve Renard is a wanted man after the Atlas lions impressed at the World Cup.
Updated 28 June 2018
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Algeria and Egypt keen on Herve Renard after Morocco impress at World Cup

  • Renard debating his future with the Atlas Lions after they were eliminated from the World Cup.
  • Egypt and Algeria both keen on the Frenchman to lead their national teams.

VOLGOGRAD: Both Egypt and Algeria are considering Morocco’s Herve Renard as their future coach with the North African national teams looking to fill the vacancies in their respective dugouts.
Morocco may have been knocked out of the World Cup with just one point, but the Atlas Lions impressed with how they played — only narrowly losing to Iran and Portugal before being very unlucky not to beat Spain in a 2-2 thriller on Monday.
The same day as Morocco’s World Cup exit Algeria fired Rabah Madjer, appointed in October to rebuild a team that failed to qualify for the tournament in Russia, as head coach.
Algeria FA president Kheireddine Zetchi has declared an interest in Renard along with Vahid Halilhodzic, who led Algeria to the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup, and Iran boss Carlos Queiroz
“Halilhodzic and Renard are both on our list, Queiroz is a seasoned coach, he has experience with Iran, he may be in our list,” Zetchi said. “I will not go more than that on the names, we have a list, we will start the negotiations once we have settled things with Madjer.”
The president said that he wanted a French-speaking coach with knowledge of North African football who has had results on the international stage. Renard is seen as the front-runner but Zetchi has also said he will not rush despite reports in the Moroccan media that Egypt have already made an offer.
“We will wait until the end of the World Cup. I think there will be coaches who will leave their current positions.”
Egypt, who were hugely disappointing in Russia losing all three of their Group A matches, announced on Tuesday that the contract of Hector Cuper would not be extended. Not only had the Argentine led the Pharaohs too the bottom of a group seen as the weakest in the tournament, but there was severe criticism over the team’s defensive tactics both before and during the tournament.
In a meeting at the Egyptian Football Association headquarters in Cairo, there was a majority of executives in favor of hiring another foreign coach with sources claiming that Renard is top of the list that also includes Halilhodzic. 
Egypt Football Association boss Hany Abo Rida admitted that Renard was an attractive prospect but that his current employment conditions are the major stumbling block.
“There may be negotiations with Renard if he breaks his contract with the Moroccan team only,” Abo Rida said.
Renard, who joined Morocco in February 2016, has a contract until 2022 but was non-committal on Monday when asked about his future.
“Now is the time to savour this moment,” said the Frenchman.
“I will think about the future later.”
Former Egyptian international Tarek Mostafa has called upon the federation to move quickly for the 49 year-old. “I hope that Renard can be the coach of Egypt,” said Mostafa, who is the head coach of Moroccan club Rapide Qued Zem. “ He is the best and he can achieve good results with us, and his style suits Egypt perfectly.”
This World Cup was the first time four Arab teams qualified — Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia — leading to hope that at least one of the would make it through to the second round. However, while none of them disgraced themselves, all four failed to progress to the knockout stages, leading Tunisia coach Nabil Maaloul to comment that Arab teams need two generations to reach the top level.
The Tunisia coach was speaking after watching his Tunisia side thrashed 5-2 by Belgium in a match that underlined the gulf between the two teams.
“We did not disappoint the Arab world, we did not give up on our Arab fans,” the Tunisian coach said.
“We need two more generations to reach (the top) level of performance in terms of fitness and physical strength. We are far from the required level.”
That view was echoed by the side’s captain, Wabhi Khazri who said: “The level was too high, too elevated over the (tournament).”


India beats Pakistan by 8 wickets in Asia Cup

Updated 18 min 36 sec ago
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India beats Pakistan by 8 wickets in Asia Cup

  • India's opening batsmen dazzled the sold-out crowd with their positive intent and a flurry of strokes
  • Pakistan coach Micky Arthur acknowledged that his side was outplayed in all departments of the game

DUBAI: India was rarely tested in a dominating eight-wicket win over traditional rival Pakistan in their group match of the Asia Cup Wednesday.
At Dubai International Stadium, captain Sarfraz Ahmed's decision to bat first after winning the toss backfired when a disciplined Indian bowling attack wrapped up the Pakistan innings for a meagre 162 in 43.1 overs.
India's reply was led by its rampant captain Rohit Sharma, who raced to 52 in just 39 balls and added 86 runs in 13 overs with Shikhar Dhawan for the opening stand. They achieved the target in the 29th over, losing just the two openers.
The result was inconsequential as both teams have already qualified for the round-robin Super Four stage following wins in their respective opening group matches against Hong Kong.
If India's opening bowling attack was sensational — Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah gave away just four runs and removed the two openers in the first five overs — the opening batsmen dazzled the sold-out crowd with their positive intent and a flurry of strokes.
"We were disciplined right from the start," Sharma said. "It was a great game for the bowling unit, especially since we knew it won't be easy in these conditions. We stuck to our plan and did what we had planned to do on this surface. The wickets in the first couple of overs were very important because of the quality of their batting. We didn't want to make things easy for them."
Sharma smashed six boundaries and three sixes, and was particularly severe on seamer Usman Khan in the bowler's fourth over. He hooked a bouncer for six, followed by a stylish pull off a no-ball on one leg for a four to the fine-leg boundary. He then pulled the free-hit delivery deep into the stand behind mid-wicket for another six.
Sharma departed soon after reaching his half-century, misreading the first ball from spinner Shadab Khan and getting bowled off his pads.
Dhawan, who scored 127 in India's opening win over Hong Kong, wasn't exactly a silent partner and he too played some audacious shots before cutting Faheem Ashraf straight into the hands of Babar Azam at backward point four runs short of a half century.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik (both unbeaten on 31) then saw the defending champions home.
Earlier, a third-wicket partnership of 80 between Azam (47) and Shoaib Malik (43) could not put Pakistan on the path to recovery.
Azam was bowled with the score on 85 after he tried to step out to left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav and missed the line completely, and the next four wickets could only put together 56 runs as they struggled against the flattish off-spin bowling of part-timer Kedar Jadhav.
Bumrah, coming back into the team after getting a rest against Hong Kong on Tuesday, did not give away a single run in his first two overs, and his partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar reaped the rewards as the suffocated Inam-ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman fell to ambitious shots.
Kumar later returned to remove the tailender Hasan Ali and finished with figures of 3-15 in seven overs. Jadhav also took three wickets for 23 in nine overs.
Pakistan coach Micky Arthur acknowledged that his side was outplayed in all departments of the game.
"We were below par today," he said. "What was very disappointing was that we batted outside our roles. It's not Imam's role to run down to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and try to hit him over the top. If Fakhar gets out that way, it's OK. Other batsmen needed to take responsibility. To have 158 dot balls out of 258 faced is just not good enough."
There was a bit of scare for India when all-rounder Hardik Pandya needed to be stretchered off the field after injuring his lower back while bowling the 18th over of the inning.
India made two changes to the team that won against Hong Kong, with Bumrah and Pandya coming in for Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed. Pakistan fielded an unchanged eleven following their eight-wicket win over Hong Kong on Sunday.