Morocco have become the first host nation to lift the African Nations Championship title thanks to a 4-0 win over Nigeria in Sunday’s final at Casablanca’s Stade Mohamed V.
The north Africans inspired by Zakaria Hadraf’s brace and strikes from Walid El Karti and Ayoub El Kaabi were torn apart by the Super Eages who ended the game with 10-men after Moses Eneji was given the marching order.
Morocco dominated the match from the first minute, pressurising the Eagles’ defence with several marauding runs down the flanks.
Their first chance came in the fourth minute when El Kaabi sent his shot off target. El Kaabi converted from a corner kick but his effort was ruled out for a goal kick by referee Bakary Gassama for an infringement.
Morocco continued to dominate and were rewarded for their perseverance with the opening goal on the stroke of half time.
Abdeljalil Jbira received the ball on the overlap from Badr Banoun before squating for Hadraf to fire home from 10 yards out.
The second half went sour for the Eagles after Eneji was sent off for a second bookable offence. Morocco doubled their lead in the 61st minute when El Karti headed home after Ajiboye had punched a cross out.
From then on it was all one-way traffic as El Karti headed home Jbira’s cross on 61 minutes before Hadraf scored his second of the match three minutes later. El Kaabi completed the rout in the 73rd minute after another defensive error by the Eagles.
MOROCCO: Zniti, El Yamiq, Boulhroude (Barrahma 60′), Hadraf (Hammoudan 72′), Saidi, El Kaabi (Nanah 82′), El Karti, El Haddad, Banoune, Nahiri, Jbira
NIGERIA: Ajiboye, Okoro, Emeka Atuloma, Okogbue, Eze, Ogbug (Okpotu 53′), Ali (Oladapo 57′), Eneji, Utin (Mustapha 78′), Ojo, Okechukw
This is the Fifth Edition of the African Nations Championship. The first tournament was held in 2009 with only eight teams. It was hosted by Ivory Coast and won by The Democratic Republic of the Congo. The competition was expanded to 16 teams for the second tournament, held in Sudan in 2011. The tournament was won by Tunisia, in the wake of the Tunisian Revolution.
The tournament is held every two years, alternating with the Africa Cup of Nations.
Morocco made history as the first host to win
Here are the last four hosts and winners
[Year – host – winner]
2009 – Ivory Coast – DR Congo
2011 – Sudan – Tunisia
2014 – South Africa – Libya
2016 – Rwanda – DR Congo
2018 – Morocco – Morocco
WHAT IS THE CHAN?
The Total African Nations Championship (more popularly referred to as Championship of African Nations or CHAN) is a football tournament which was first announced on 11 September 2007. The first edition was staged two years later in Ivory Coast. It is administered by the continental football governing body, Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the best national teams of Africa, exclusively featuring players who are active in the national championships and qualified to play in the ongoing season. Expatriate players, regardless of where they play, even in Africa, are not qualified to take part in the African Championship of Nations.