Morocco lifted their first African Nations Championship (CHAN) after an emphatic 4-0 win over Nigeria on Sunday evening at the Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca.
Two goals from Hadraf and one each from El Karti and tournament top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi sealed victory for hosts who had been handed the favourites tag at the beginning of the competition which is exclusively for players plying their trade in their country’s domestic leagues.
Nigeria played most of second half with 10 men after Moses Eneji was sent off two minutes after the break for a second bookable offence.
The Atlas Lions dominated the match with their first chance coming in the third minute when Walid El Karti flicked the ball in from close range.
The tournament’s golden boot winner Ayoub El Kaabi had a goal disallowed five minutes later when he headed home from Ismail Haddad’s corner kick, but the goal was correctly ruled out because the ball had passed out of play in its flight.
The Super Eagles had their best chance of the first stanza around the 20th minute mark but rarely threatened the Moroccan defence.
Hadraf opened the scoring in the 44th minute when El Haddad beat Osas Okoro and crossed to the winger who struck past Dele Ajiboye.
Ten minutes after the break,Nigeria could have equalized but Rabiu Ali failed to score within inches of goal after he picked up a Eneji Moses rebound.
Morocco continued to build up play through the flanks and at half an hour mark they got their second when El Kaabi’s overhead kick hit the post leaving El Karti with an easy header, before Hadraf added his second a few minutes later to make it 3-0.
Photo:Morocco’s Ayoub El Kaabi was named man-of-the-tournament
El Kaabi sealed the victory for Lions of Atlas on the 74th minutes when the ball ricocheted around the area and fell at his feet for him to grab his ninth goal of the tournament.
The Lions of Atlas were still not done yet as they went in search of a fifth late in the game but failed to make the effort count.
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.
Morocco: Zniti, El Yamiq, Boulahroud (Barrahma 60’), Hadraf (Hammoudan 72’), Saidi, El Kaabi (Nahnah 82’), El Karti, Haddad, Banoun, Nahiri, Jbira
Nigeria: Ajiboye, Okoro, Atuloma, Orji, Eze, Ogbugh (Okpotu 53’), Ali (Oladapo 57’), Moses, Udo, Ojo, Okechukwu (Mustapha 78’)