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Nigeria’s home based Super Eagles qualified for the finals of the African Nations Championship, their first ever, after edging Sudan 1-0 in the semi-final played in Marrakech / Photo: CAF

CHAN 2018: Morocco, Nigeria set for final battle

Nigeria’s home based Super Eagles have qualified for the finals of the African Nations Championship, their first ever, after edging Sudan 1-0 in the semi-final played in Marrakech. The Nigerians will on Sunday meet hosts Morocco, who had earlier spanked Libya 3-1.

The final of the ongoing Championship for African Nations (CHAN) will be between hosts, Morocco, and Nigeria. Morocco beat Libya 3 – 1 while Nigeria managed a one-nil victory against Sudan in the semi-finals.

Playing at a packed Complexe Mohammed V in Casablanca, Morocco needed extra time to beat fellow North Africans Libya on Wednesday evening. The first-half ended goalless but on the 73rd minutes mark CHAN record top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi scored.

The lead was cancelled thirteen minutes later as Libya’s Abdulrahm Khalleefah hit an equalizer sending the game into extra time.

Moroccans celebrate after beating Libya 3-1 to clinch a place in the final / Photo: CAF

 

El Kaabi extended his scoring record with a goal in the first part of the extra time. Morocco sealed a dominant performance when Walid El Karti scored a penalty to put the result beyond Libya.

In the other fixture between Nigeria and Sudan at the Grande Stade Marrakech, it was the West Africans who took a first-half lead through Gabriel Okechukwu’s 16th minute goal.

The dynamics of the game changed in the second-half as Nigeria’s Ifeanyi was sent off. Both managers quickly tinkered with their squads with a number of quick substitutions. But Nigeria held on to qualify for the final with the hosts.

The third-place match is scheduled for Marrakech on 3 February between losing semi-finalists Libya and Sudan while the final will be in Casablanca on Sunday, 4 February 2018.

Austin Ohaegbu

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