African Nations Championship (CHAN) defending champions Morocco’s prospects of sealing an early qualification to the quarterfinals of the tournament were put on hold following a goalless draw against Rwanda on Friday.
Morocco needed the victory to guarantee progress from Group C, but the Atlas Lions squandered a couple of great scoring opportunities in the game played at the Stade de Reunification in Douala.
The defending champions were dominant from the start, pegging their opponents as far back into their own half, and it took a brilliant block from Amavubi Stars defender Thierry Manzi to deny Yahya Jabrane’s as early as the third minute.
Moments later, Abdelmounaim Boutouil also failed to find the target after he was played through on goal as the first half ended goalless.
Morocco captain Ayoub El Kaabi had the first real chance of the game seven minutes into the second half but put his shot over the crossbar.
The champions kept on pushing for a breakthrough, and in the 63rd minute, Walid El Karti had another great opportunity but he spurned the scoring chance with the goal gaping.
Muhadjiri Hakizimana produced Rwanda’s best effort at goal with a long-range shot, but Moroccan goalkeeper Anas Zniti did superbly was on hand to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Morocco extends their lead at the top of the table to four points ahead of their final group game against Uganda. The North Africans will need at least a point from the game and hope that results elsewhere go their way in order to progress to the next round.
Meanwhile, Rwanda face Togo in their final group game to be played in Limbe, and will turn their focus to Uganda’s match against Togo and will be hoping the result goes their way.
If either team wins, Rwanda will need nothing short of victory in their final group game on Tuesday, January 22.