Zambia’s strong showing and a good run at the African Nations Championship (CHAN) was halted by the mighty Moroccans.
Morocco beat Zambia 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the CHAN as The Atlas Lions seemed too strong on the day. It felt like it was going to be a long day for the Zambians as the Moroccans took the lead in the 1st minute of the game itself as Morocco kicked off as Soufiane Rahimi beat Zambia’s offside trap and was picked out with a beautiful through ball to give them a very early lead.
It seemed like there was no coming back for the Chipolopolo as 8 minutes later, Mohammad Bemammer found the back of the net from a corner kick that he pounced on by trodding into the box, unmarked, to side foot the ball into an empty net as the keeper missed the clearance punch.
Zachariah Chilongoshi made things worse for the trailing side as his poor tackle saw him see red in the 20th minute, forcing Zambia to play the remaining 70 minutes with just 10 men. Morocco continued to dominate and in the 39th minute, were awarded a penalty for a handball by Paul Katema in the Zambian box. Morocco’s captain – Ayoub El Kaabi converted from the spot to give Morocco, what seemed to be an unassailable lead.
In the second half, Morocco was focusing on just getting the job done and keeping a clean sheet but Moses Phiri managed to pull one back for the Copper Bullets in the 79th minute.
It was all a little too late as The Atlas Lions of Morocco saw the game out and secured their place in the semi-finals of the CHAN.
Up next for the Moroccans are the hosts – Cameroon. The 2 strongest teams in the tournament will go up against each other on 3 February at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium. Be sure to tune in for this epic clash as the current champions go up against the hosts!