International

5 reasons why Morocco are CHAN champions

2018-02-06 09:00
Ayoub el Kaabi (Supplied)

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.

Here are 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:

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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

Read more on:    morocco  |  chan 2018  |  soccer
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