Defending Champions of the African Nations Championship, Morocco, will be making her fifth participation in the competition scheduled to run from January 13 in Algeria this year.
Journey to the Finals
Morocco joined host nation Algeria and Libya as one of the three nations qualified from the Northern zone.
Just like the host, they automatically gained qualification to the final phase of the competition as they were the only teams to have engaged.
Being the defending champions, Morocco is arguably a big name as far as the competition is concerned.
Hussein Ammouta is the coach of the Local Atlas Lion of Morocco and current coach of Wydad AC since replacing Walid Regragui in August 18,2022.
The 53-year-old experienced Moroccan born gaffer, has been in charge of the A’ Lions since 2020. It was under his reign that Morocco emerged champions of the CHAN 2020 in Cameroon for the second consecutive time, a competition where he was eventually awarded overall best coach.
The Ex Moroccan international who made just one appearance for Morocco at the senior level, has been entrusted with the team once again as they go in to defend their title in Algeria in the days ahead.
The Local lions of Morocco are referred to as the A’ Lions of Atlas Lions still, though this part of the National team constitutes only players from the local league in the country.
The local Atlas Lions team, house players who ply their trade in different clubs in Morocco’s league though consist of mostly Expatriate players.
Appearance and Results
Morocco holds the record for the highest number of CHAN titles alongside DR Congo(2 each).
Morocco defeated Mali 2-0 in the 2020 final, becoming the first nation to win back-to-back titles after their 2018 victory against Nigeria on home soil. This will be the Country’s fifth CHAN participation in Algeria after making their debut in 2014.
Moroccan coach,Mohamed “El General” Fakhir, in 2016, led the team to qualification for the second consecutive time at the CHAN in Rwanda, an edition which was their worst ever been eliminated from the group stage after finishing 3rd in their group.
In 2014, Morocco reached the quater finals after winning one out of four games, Lost one and drew two and eventually came out too of their pool.
Jan 12, 2014 (Zimbabwe 0-0 Morocco)
Jan 16, 2014 (Burkina Faso 1-1 Morocco) Bassirou Ouédraogo 88’ / Brahim El Bahri 1’
Jan 20, 2014
Morocco 3-1 Uganda
Abdessamad Rafik 29’ Mouhcine Iajour 77’ Abdelkabir El Ouadi 90+3’ / Yunus Sentamu 59’
Quater finals Nigeria defeats Morocco 4-3.
Jan 16, 2016: Gabon 0-0 Morocco.
Jan 20,2016: Morocco 0-1 Ivory Coast
Yannick Zakri 10’ (P)
Jan 24, 2016 : Morocco 4-1 Rwanda
Abdelghani Mouaoui 16’ 43’ Aziz Bouhaddouz 24’ Abdeladim Khadrouf 38’ / Hegman Ngomirakiza 27’
1/4 final: Morocco 2-0 Namibia
A. El Kaabi 36′
S. Saidi 55
Semi Final: Morocco 3-1 Libya
El Kaabi 73′, 97′
W. El Karti 118′ (P) / A. Ramadhan khalleefah 86′
Final: Morocco beats Nigeria 4-0
Hadraf 45′, 64′
W. El Karti 61′
A. El Kaabi 73′
This was the first time in the history of the tournament that a host nation reached and even won the final.
1/4: Morocco 3-1 Zambia
S. Rahimi 1′
M. Bemammer 8′
A. El Kaabi 39′ (P)/ M. Phiri 80′
Semi final: Morocco 4-0 Cameroon
S. Bouftini 28′
S. Rahimi 40′, 73′
M. Bemammer 82′
Final: Mali 0-2 Morocco
S. Bouftini 69′
A. El Kaabi 79′
For the records, Morocco have made four consecutive appearances in the African Nations Championship.
Group fixtures Analyzed
Given that the Confederation of African football have increased the number of teams to 18 with five groups of four and three nations, Morocco is placed in group C alongside Madagascar, Sudan and Ghana.
Morocco and Sudan have met once in the CHAN, that was in 2018 where both sides settled for a barren tie. They meet again on Jan 15,2023.
Morocco will again go against a Madagascar side who have not won any of their last five matches, on January 19 and then takes on Ghana four days later.
A lot cannot be said again about Morocco’s best performance in the CHAN when Infact Back-to- back winning of the CHAN in 2018 and 2022 highlights how far they have come.
Soufiane Rahimi made a name for himself during the 2020 CHAN where he emerged highest goal scorer(5goals)and best player the tournament.
Yahya Jabrane and forward Ayoub El Kaabi were also among the best players of the tournament.
Most Successful Club
Wydad Casablanca is the most successful and titled club in Morocco’s domestic league with a record of 22 Moroccan league titles and Nine throne cups.
On the continental stage, they are three time CAF champions league champions and even reigning champions as it stands, one time holders of the CAF super cup and African Cup amongst others.
The successful Wydad is one of the clubs in Morocco’s top flight championship that has never been relegated since it’s participation.
They remain one of the best and most successful top flight club in Africa given how well they have written their name in CAF history books.
TAHA MOURID(Wydad Athletic Club)
RACHID GHANIMI (RCOZ)
MOHAMED MOUFID (AS FAR)
ISMAIL LAGHZALI (IRT)
ZAKARIA DROUICH (SCCM)
ACHRAF RAMZI (JSS)
AYOUB KHAIRI (RSB)
AIMEN EL AOUANI(OCK)
AKRAM NAKACH NAKACH (UTS)
ABDELILAH MADKOUR (Raja Casablanca)
JAMAL ECH CHAMAKH (HUSA)
HATIM ES SAOUBI(AS FAR)
KHALID AIT OUARKHANE(JSS)
ISMAIL MOUTARAJI (Wydad Athletic Club)
ABDELLAH HAIMOUD(Wydad Athletic Club)
IMAD RIAHI (JSSM)
ABDERRAZAK ENNAKOUSS (SCCM)
EL HOUSSINE RAHIMI (RCA)
HAMZA IGMANE (AS FAR)
EL AMINE ZOUHZOUH (UTS)
ABDELLATIF AKHRIF (IRT)
_Club distribution _
Wydad AC: 4
AS FAR: 3
Sporting Club CM: 3
Raja Casablanca: 3
IRT(Ittihad Tanger): 2
Union Touarga Sport : 2
Jeunesse Sportive Soualem: 2
RS Berkane: 2
Rapide Club Oued Zem: 1
Kawkab Athlétique CM: 1
Olympique Club de Khouribga: 1
Difaâ Hassani El Jadidi: 1
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