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Five reasons why Morocco are CHAN champions

Morocco ended 42 years without a senior national team football trophy by hosting and winning the African Nations Championship.

Published: 06th February 2018 12:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2018 12:53 PM   |  A+A-

Morocco's player Badr Benoun holds up the African Nations Championship trophy after the team beat Nigeria in the final of the CHAN. | AP

By AFP

CASABLANCA: Morocco ended 42 years without a senior national team football trophy by hosting and winning the African Nations Championship (CHAN) for home-based footballers at the weekend.

It was the first success since the country won the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations by drawing with Guinea to top a mini-league in Ethiopia.

AFP Sport gives five reasons why Morocco completed an unbeaten six-match CHAN run by whipping 10-man Nigeria 4-0 in a final staged in a Casablanca downpour.

  • Previously unknown striker Ayoub el Kaabi was named player of the tournament after scoring a CHAN record nine goals in five starts.

  • Playing all six matches at the same stadium was a benefit no rival enjoyed. Some teams travelled 800 kilometres (500 miles) between fixtures.  

  • Coach Jamal Sellami built his team around two Casablanca clubs with Raja supplying five and African champions Wydad four of the final starting line-up.

  • A patiently-built 4-0 thrashing of Mauritania got the hosts off to the perfect start and they secured a quarter-finals place with a game to spare.

  • Sellami fielded his reserves for the final group game against Sudan, giving first choices extended recovery time in the middle of a hectic schedule.



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