By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde – Nigeria
Morocco defeated hosts Cameron 4-0 on Wednesday to reach their second consecutive African Nations Championship (CHAN) final.
The semi-final clash between the hosts Cameroon and defending champions Morocco had an initial matchup of a keenly contested game.
But the defensive Intermediate Lions didn’t give the attacking might of the Atlas Lions the chance to penetrate their box 18 but limited to long-range efforts in the early exchanges.
Soufianne Rahimi tried his luck with a shot from outside the box in the 16th minute, but his shot was well saved by Cameroon’s goalie Haschou Kerido.
Two minutes later, a quick free-kick by Morocco almost led to the opening goal of the game but Kerido did well to keep Cameroon in the game.
The chance opened up the game for both sides afterward. Morocco took the lead in the 28th minute when Kerido spilled a free kick giving Soufianne Bouftini the chance to slot into an empty net.
Cameron tried to get the equaliser by getting hold of possession after falling behind but against the run of play, Morocco doubled their lead in the 40th-minute courtesy of Rahimi.
After the interval, Cameroon started the second half with more intense and purposes. In the 46th minute, N’Djeng Joseph Yannick’s header off a corner kick went wide.
Morocco almost increased their lead in the 69th minute when captain, Ayoub El Kaabi’s header went wide.
In the 63rd minute, Morocco made it 3-0 with Rahimi’s second goal of the game when he caught goalkeeper Kerido off his line as Cameroonian fans rushed out of the Stade Omnisports Limbe after Morocco’s third goal.
Mohammed Ali Bemammer completed the routing in the 83rd minute with the fourth goal for Morocco.
Morocco will play Mali in the final after the latter defeated Guinea 5-4 on penalties.