The Atlas Lions of Morocco humbled hosts Cameroon in what turned out to be a one-sided affair in the 2nd semifinal of the Total African Nations Championship.

Defending champions Morocco will face Mali in the final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN).

Soufiane Rahimi continued his hot run of form by nabbing a brace against hosts Cameroon in the semifinal of the CHAN 2021. The Moroccans were highly efficient in front of goal while their goalkeeper was a mere spectator for the game.


Cameroon failed to hit the target with all of their attempts (6) while the Atlas Lions had 12 shots with 9 being on target. This led to Morocco breaching the Cameroonian defence eventually in the 28th minute as Soufiane Baftini gave his side the lead. Rahimi then found the back of the net 12 minutes later in the 40th minute to put Morocco 2 goals up.

The half ended 2-0 with the Indomitable Lions having lots of work to do to get back into the game, however, it was not for the lack of effort. Morocco was just too good and too strong on the day. The North African side kept their foot on the gas pedal as they kicked on with Rahimi notching his 2nd of the game in the 73rd minute to make sure that there was no coming back for the hosts.

To make matters worse for Cameroon, Mohammed Ali Bemammer made it 4-0 in the 82nd minute to cap off a fantastic display by the defending champions who seek their 3rd CHAN title.

Morocco has set up a final clash against Mali who managed to overcome neighbours, Guinea in the 1st semifinal.

The Eagles have really shown their strength at the grassroots level as the CHAN features players who only play football locally and not in international leagues. Mali is known for its youth system and they have truly displayed that in this tournament.

Mali beat Guinea on penalties after a cagey game throughout that ended 0-0 in regulation and extra time. The Eagles won 5-4 on penalties after Mamadou Coulibaly scored the winning penalty to take his country through to the final.

Mali football

The Malians will want to go one step further than 2016 when they finished runners-up but this is a significant improvement from the 2018 tournament when they failed to qualify for the knockout stages. They have an uphill task against the dominant Moroccans who are firm favourites to retain the championship and extend their record of most CHAN titles to 3 and be the only team to have won the tournament more than once.

The pressure will be on Morocco as the expectations are high. Mali can just enjoy the moment and dream of doing the incredible. Football is never won on paper and we will see if the Eagles can overcome the Atlas Lions in the final on 8th February in Yaounde.