Africa Nations Championship 2018 Review

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Morocco dueled Nigeria to decide the champion of Africa’s second biggest football tournament

What will remain in the memory of many soccer fanatics, on the continent, is the drama of the knockout games that unfolded, the goals, the saves, the misses of the tournament that produced a fairy tale or heart wrenching story on the field.

Indeed, that is where the human narrative of heroes and villains is written, and on that score, Morocco 2018 will probably fare pretty well.

After 90 minutes of action, the Lions of Atlas had secured their first CHAN title by a 4-0 margin to become the first host to triumph.

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    #1 Team of the tournament

    It would be churlish not to praise the winner, Morocco, as not many gave Coach Jamal Sellami’s team a chance especially considering that Sellami’s team was unconvincing in the build up to the tournament and several other top players like Achraf Bencharki and Jawad El Yamiq in the last three important matches.
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    #2 Sudan the third best team of CHAN 2018

    Sudan deserve a mention too – their progress from the group stage was exhilarating and played out to remarkable levels of volume, and not even their fortunate win over Zambia could completely silence the feel-good story. An unusually technical, mobile team of overachievers were fascinating to watch but at last lost to Nigeria in the semis.
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    #3 Player of the tournament

    Morocco’s Ayub El Kaabi won the official award and probably deserved it overall. He was the best attacking player on display in the final. The Racing Athletic Club of Casablanca forward whose languishing in the Moroccan league seems a thing of the imagination,was the top scorer of the tournament.

    El Kaabi displayed pure talent throughout the entire tournament scoring 9 goals in 6 matches, making him the top goal scorer in the entire history of the competition.

  4. #4 Match of the tournament

    Despite a sometimes tedious group stage there ended up being a few contenders. Nigeria and Libya match was rollicking good fun in the last minutes. Libya appeared to be seeing it out to a conclusion as goalless draw was enough for them. Sunday Felaye scored the winner from an Osas Okoro corner after landing his feet on the ball for a thunderous shot.
  5. #5 Revelation of the tournament

    Ayoub El Kaabi: Few outside the north African kingdom had heard of the 24-year-old striker before the mid January kick-off of the biennial tournament restricted to footballers playing in their country of birth.

    Now, most African football followers from Cairo to Cape Town know El Kaabi, the 1.82-metre goalmouth predator who has scored a record nine goals in a single edition of the CHAN.

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    #6 Goal of the tournament

    Zambia’s Augustine Mulenga’s second goal against Ivory Coast is the clear winner. The Orlando Pirates latest signing skipped past three challenges in the penalty area before sending a low shot into the bottom corner in a Group B clash.