By James Agberebi: Hosts Morocco have won the 2018 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) title after thrashing 10- man home-based Super Eagles of Nigeria 4-0 in Sunday’s final in Casablanca.
It was the first time both Morocco and Nigeria would play in the final of CHAN.
A brace from Zakaria Hadraf and a goal each from Walid El Karti and Ayoub El Kaabi, his ninth of the tournament, secured the emphatic win.
Moses Eneji, who made his first appearance in the tournament against Morocco, was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The last time both countries met in CHAN was in the quarter-finals of the 2014 edition when the Home Eagles, under the late Stephen Keshi, came from 3-0 down to win 4-3 after extra-time.
Morocco become the first country to host and win the CHAN and are the third North African team after Libya (2014) and Tunisia (2011) to win the tournament.
Also they are the third country after Democratic Republic of Congo (AFCON: 1968, 1974, CHAN: 2009, 2016) and Tunisia (AFCON: 2004, CHAN: 2011) to win the CHAN and the Africa Cup of Nations. Morocco’s only AFCON title was won in 1976.
Nigeria are now the first country to lose 4-0 in the final of the CHAN.
Morocco almost took the lead on three minutes through Walid El Karti who connected with a cut-back only to see his effort go off target from close range.
Morocco thought they had opened the scoring but danger man Ayoub El Kaabi’s goal was disallowed after the ball had gone out of play from a corner.
In the 15th minute, El Kaabi had a chance to open the scoring but his overhead kick came off the cross bar.
Nigeria had their first opportunity in the 25th minute after Eneji turned from his marker and laid on to Okechukwu Gabriel who was quickly closed down from shooting.
Morocco continued to create chances and in the 31st minute they went close again, this time through Jawad El Yamiq but his header from Ismail El Haddad’s cross was saved by the impressive Dele Ajiboye.
In the 35th minute, Badr Benoun almost broke the deadlock from a knock down off a corner but scooped his chance over the top.
Two minutes later, Gabriel flicked the ball for Eneji who failed to connect before Osas Okoro’s cross went out of range.
Ajiboye was forced to clear a danger on 44 minutes as he quickly came off his line to punch away El Haddad’s whipped in free-kick.
Morocco’s persistence eventually paid off on 45 minutes thanks to Hadraf who finished off a cut-back after Emeka Ogbugh was beaten for pace.
Just three minutes into the second half, Nigeria were reduced to 10 men as Eneji was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for a reckless challenge.
In the 53rd minute, the Eagles made their first change with Anthony Okpotu replacing Ogbugh.
Morocco almost doubled their lead on 54 minutes following a well-struck shot from Abdeljalil Jbira but Ajiboye palmed his effort away.
A minute later Ajiboye made a point-blank save to deny El Kaabi from getting on the score sheet.
El Kaabi went close again on 56 minutes after he was left unmarked but his free header went off target.
Morocco’s constant pressure paid off as El Karti made it 2-0 on 61 minutes, heading in a rebound off an Ajiboye save after Nigeria failed to clear.
In the 64th minute, Morocco scored again to bring score to 3-0 as Hadraf pounced to register his second of the game.
Morocco should have added a fourth on 68 minutes but Ajiboye made a close range save to deny El Kaabi.
El Kaabi was not to be denied in the 73rd minute as he capitalised on another sloppy play by the Nigerian defence to make it 4-0.
The Moroccans were still not done yet as they went in search of a fifth late in the game but failed to make the effort count.Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.
Nigeria is just an ordinary team, no special attributes whatsoever!
Nff should pls sack Mr. Salisu. His tactics has cos us alot of embarrassment. He is not qualify to assist Mr. Rhor in the super eagles
What an appalling show by the HE!
What a scandalous way to lose. It was clear Eagles lost gas.
What an awful display. I must score the team average and thank them for getting to the finals. Nevertheless I must state the following, Firstly, this team should be disbounded. Secondly, salisu yusuf has learnt nothing technically so far from rohr and should be sacked immediately after the World Cup to give way for another home coach as an assistant to rohr. Thirdly, Nigeria should henceforth stop participating in Chan tournaments until there is a considerable improvement from the league because our abysmal performance against morroco shows how poor our league is which is evident in our players.
The forces against the team were to many. The referee was bent on supporting Morocco to win. We all saw it. This man is the best referee in Africa but for today’s match hecwas following a script. Morocco must win the tournament as host by all means. The referee did the dirty job for CAF. Go and watch the match again. Why do you think Moses was yellow carded twice for a red card? He was coordinating well with Gabriel to torment the Moroccans. Moses became a target to be remove and he fell into the trap. It was silly to tackle recklessly when you have a yellow card. Some other referee would have just warmed him since the tackle was not even that hard after watching the replay. Eagles fate have been sealed before the game. Of course the rain did not help but that red card did the damage. With 11 players, it was possible that we would have equalized. 4-0 is too high but we are 2nd best in Africa by virtue of the silver medal we won in this 2018 CAF CHAN. The boys are hero. Let Nigeria give them an hero’s welcome.
This is the worst defeat of any male Nigerian team in a tournament in the last 20 years! It will certainly affect the Super Eagles psychologically at the World Cup in Russia, in June. Luckily we all saw what happened – no excuses, and the Referee Mr Gazama from the Gambia was fair. Nigerians are in shock tonight!
The same happened @ WAFU cup..they got to final, only to lose to the host(Ghana) 4 goals to 1. People should at least for now stop clamouring for their inclusion to the main super eagles.
I know it will end this way. If you look at the Moroccan team you will agree with me that this is almost there main national team eighty percent of the players in this team are the players that qualified them for the World Cup and will go to the World Cup. So I expected it. Our boys tried by getting to the finals.
MY FELLOW NIGERIANS, DON’T BLAME TIS GUYS. DURING D WCQ 8 OUT OF MOROCAN STARTING 11 IN TIS CHAD COMPETITION THEY AR IN D MAIN MOROCO NATIONAL TEAM SO THEY MINGU WIT D FOREIGN BASE SO 4 US IS ONLY EZEWA THEY DO CALL SO 4 ME TIS GUYS REALLY TRIED BY RCHIN D FINAL
Nd Salisu said this is his best team!!!!! Even without red card,we couldn’t have beaten the Moroccan.They are so coordinated
@djch stop giving excuses for a resounding failure by the CHAN Eagles , they failed .Is better not to reach the final and lost scandulously, Yusuf is not a good coach , I wonder what he says to the boys during the break ?..The same thing Ifeanyi committed is what Moses did after the break, why can’t he tell moses to avoid rash challenge’s till he is substituted?..His tactics was very poor against morroco and we paid for it .He should have watch Sudan and Morocco match and find out that the greatest asset of morocco is their fast and active wingers, therefore our back two should not have left them at will!!..most of their goals was cut in from the wings , even moses committed the avoidable foul because the right full back was no where to be seen in order to block the attacker!!!…Yusuf is not the best for now and he has no right to be with Rohr!!….cos he has nothing much to offer .
You cannot sodier on to the finals and lose 4 goals to nill.What was the technocal bench doing?
The Egypt Home based team drew Nigeria 1 all in Nigeria and beat Nigeria 1-0 in Egypt during the Nations cup qualifiers.This Nigeria CHAN Eagles got to the finals by luck and chance. They were so lucky to have good goal keepers that held on to the finals.Do you call this guys a team? . They could hardly trap the ball. They lack ball control.Even the coach lack technical ability.They are always choked. Infact, where did they pick that coach and boys from? Are they saying there is no player in the Nigeria league that can trap the ball and make good passes? You and I know, this coah and guys are not the best legs in the league!.
First of all, I think I will rate Ajiboye high than Ezenwa. All the goals were never his fault, he was exposed by the lackadaisical attitudes of his defence. He pulled some saves there that were exceptional though. Ezenwa would have become jittery at the warring situation the HE faced last night.
Another thing is that, Salisu Yusuf lacked a tactical football sense! He is not reading the match at all. Bringing Opotu at that point is a wrong technical motive for that game. He would have looked for a connecting point between the forward and the midfield but, he wanted an equalizer rather with 10 men versus a well serviced winged Moroccans. So much more to say, but in a nut shell, Ajiboye is da bomb!
You tried Home Eagles, but your Coach dealt with you as if you were Kwara United… Lol!
Salisu is a lazy coach. This jointly contribute his failure. The highest goal scorer of the chan tournament is presently playing in the second tier league of Morocco. Our local coaches always seek solace in their luxuries and hoping for miracle where there’s none. I’m sure if he had combed our leagues (npfl and nnl) very well, there would have been more revelation in this team. Junior Lokosa of Kano pillars came from the nnl and is taking the league by storm, same with Omoyele of Plateau united. There are many players in our leagues better than this chan squad. I hope the NFF learn from this disgrace final and instill work ethics in our coaches.
The fact is that Salisu lacks technical ability to manage the team .Nigeria got to the finals by luck but bowed to a more organised team scandalously in the finals . Its a shame that Nigeria lost with that large margin in a competition final without even a goal and there was no fight from the players to reduce the tally .
Three things from yesterday final match. Firstly, the Referee intentionally favoured Moroccans team. I know NFF and CAF won’t say anything about it. No wonder none of the African Referees would make it to the world. What a shame.
Secondly, some of our players have no sense of football. Can you imagine the way Moses got a red card at the final and how about Ifeayi Ifeayi red card against Sudan? NFF still has a lot to do about our league football.
Thirdly, the technical crew. Coach Salisu Yussuf have to be blamed. The coach couldn’t find some sound strikers out of 180 millions people. Okpotu is the most reliable striker as coach Salisu said. What a shame.
My advice to coach Rohr. Please coach do not rely on anyone before the world cup and after. Do your thing on your own if he want to be successful at the world cup.
God bless Nigeria!!!