Nigeria Face Hosts Morocco in CHAN Final

Nigeria Face Hosts Morocco in CHAN Final”

The first half of the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament has ended in Morocco.

With Nigeria in disarray and the final long over as a contest, the previously little known striker completed his record-extending goal haul by firing into the net from close range. This final will put the north or sub-Saharan Africa one win ahead.

Moses Eleji from the Nigerian team was issued a second yellow card in the early beginnings of the second half after he roughly tackled his opponent leaving the super eagles with only 10 players for the remaining of the match.

Zakaria Hadraf gave the host a first half lead in the 45 minutes, before Walid El Karti, Zakaria Hadraf and Ayoub Kaabi scored in 61st 64th and 73rd minutes respectively.

The Atlas Lions and the Super Eagles are bidding to become the fourth different winners of the CHAN, joining the honours board of DR Congo, Tunisia and Libya.

However, winger Abelilah Hafidi misses the final, having picked up an injury during Morocco's win over Guinea in the group phase.

Dele Ajiboye with Ezenwa in training in Morocco
Dele Ajiboye with Ezenwa in training in Morocco

The hosts' physical dominance was evident, however, as they consistently won the 50-50s and overpowered Dayo Ojo and Rabiu Ali in the Nigerian midfield.

It was the first loss suffered by Sudan in the biennial tournament since they debuted 2,551 days ago as 2011 hosts.

Eight-goal El Kaabi is the runaway leading scorer in the tournament restricted to footballers playing in their country of birth, with his nearest rivals five behind.

- Sam (@bigsammy08) February 4, 2018I would pick Morocco as a team that could cause an upset at the World Cup...

The Eagles had defeated Sudan in their semi final match 1 - 0 to reach the final against the home team.

Morocco ought to have killed off the contest in the minutes that followed, with two headers - the second an open chance for El Kaabi - falling agonisingly wide of Ajiboye's goal.

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