In the pouring rain Morocco waltzed to a superb maiden African Nations Championship title, crushing ten-men Nigeria 4-0. Morocco’s Ayoub El Kaabi, CHAN’s top scorer with nine goals, was named player of the tournament.
After 32 games and 58 goals, hosts Morocco secured an imposing victory over Nigeria. The Moroccans had Achraf Bencharki (on the bench) and Jawad El Yamiq cleared to play despite the players having secured moves to Al Hilal in Saudi Arabia and Genoa in Italy respectively during the tournament. The African Nations Championship is a tournament for home-based players. In the group stages Guinea had launched an appeal over the eligibility of Sudan’s Elsmani Elsawi Saadeldin.
The hosts bossed the final from start to finish, restricting Nigeria to defending and the use of long balls to launch attacks. Those attacks were far and few, and the Moroccans were rampant going forward with the menacing presence of centre forward El Kaabi and wingers Ismael El Haddad and Zakaria Hadraf. In the 44th minute Hadraf broke the deadlock from inside the box with a low drive.