CAF African Nations Championship
- We look again on the 2020 CHAN simply gained by Morocco
- Mali completed runners-up and Guinea third
- Tournament reserved for African-based gamers
Triumphant on residence soil in 2018, Morocco secured again-to-again titles on the CAF African Nations Championship, a match reserved for African-based gamers.
In the ultimate on 7 February, the Atlas Lions beat Mali (2-0), whereas Guinea accomplished the rostrum on the match’s sixth version with their 2-0 win over hosts Cameroon. We select among the key takeaways from the match.
The first nation ever to retain the title, Morocco placed on a close to flawless show, the one slight blemish being a 0-0 draw with Rwanda on the second matchday of the group stage. And whereas their whole of simply three objectives conceded was spectacular, it was going ahead that they actually set themselves aside.
Leading the best way was match high scorer and greatest participant Soufiane Rahimi, who accounted for 5 of his facet’s 15 objectives. The Raja Casablanca winger didn’t get on the scoresheet within the closing, nonetheless, leaving the highlight to goalkeeper Anas Zniti, whose spectacular show earned him the person of the match award.
In distinction to Morocco, Mali’s run to the ultimate owed extra to their defensive solidity. Despite solely scoring 3 times in six video games, they nonetheless managed to succeed in the decider, profitable their respective quarter-closing and semi-closing in opposition to Congo and Guinea from the penalty spot, following two scoreless attracts. Having expended appreciable power in getting there, the Eagles couldn’t stand up to Morocco’s formidable assault within the closing.
2 – In profitable their second CHAN title, Morocco joined Congo DR because the match’s most profitable facet. Mali, in the meantime, completed runners-up for the second time after lacking out in 2016 to Congo DR.
Did you recognize?
One set of lions topped… one other tamed: While Cameroon had a profitable match by way of internet hosting, the identical can’t be mentioned of its on-area efficiency. Roundly crushed within the semi-finals (4-0) by the eventual champions, the Indomitable Lions had been nonetheless hoping for a podium end for the primary time at this occasion. However, Guinea had not learn the script and duly took bronze for their very own maiden CHAN medal.
El Kaabi comes good: Ayoub El Kaabi, the 9-aim main-scorer on the earlier version, was broadly tipped to be the Atlas Lions’ high gun going into the competitors. However, their captain and centre ahead was on the periphery for a lot of the match, solely discovering the web twice, every time from the spot. All that modified within the closing when he made certain of victory with an in depth-vary diving header within the 79th minute.
Diarra, an unlucky hero: “Having the ability to save your team in a penalty shoot-out, when a lot of people are depending on you, is a unique feeling,” Djigui Diarra informed FIFA.com on the finish of CHAN 2016, the place he first confirmed his shot-stopping expertise on the continental stage. Five years later, the Mali keeper distinguished himself again, serving to his facet prevail throughout shootouts twice extra. But as in 2016, Diarra couldn’t stop defeat within the closing. “I’m convinced that we’ll have the chance to redeem ourselves,” he mentioned in 2016. Perhaps Diarra and his staff-mates will get one other one.
What they mentioned
“I congratulate Mali and their coach Diane Nouhoum for their participation in the competition. Reaching the final is an achievement in itself. For our part, we came here with a vastly changed team and new staff. So, it was about creating our own history and winning for ourselves. Today’s final was difficult, but we did enough and were deserved winners I think.” – Houcine Ammouta, coach of Morocco’s CHAN staff