CHAN 2018: Nigeria, Morocco Prepare For Final Showdown


The African Nations Championship (CHAN) trophy

Hosts Morocco will face Nigeria on Sunday for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) trophy
There will be a new name on the African Nations Championship (CHAN) trophy on Sunday as hosts Morocco take on Nigeria, who could become the first west African team to claim the prize.

Morocco coach Jamal Sellami says Achraf Bencharki and Jawad El Yamiq are eligible to play following their moves to overseas clubs during the tournament which is for home-based players only.

However winger Abelilah Hafidi misses the final, having picked up an injury during Morocco’s win over Guinea in the group phase.

Sunday Faleye ruled out by injury

Nigeria have three players definitely ruled out through injury – goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Sunday Faleye and Daniel James, while Ifeanyi Ifeanyi is suspended after his red card in the semi-final win over Sudan.

Both teams have similar records at the tournament so far, drawing once and winning their other four games – and the two sides have also each had to win a game in extra-time.

Ayoub El Kaabi scored two of Morocco’s goals as they beat Libya to reach Sunday’s final.
The Moroccans boast the tournament’s top scorer so far in Ayoub El Kaabi who has grabbed eight of his side’s 12 goals so far while the Nigerian’s top scorers are Anthony Okpotu and Okechukwu Gabriel with two each from a total of 7.

Both teams have been tough to score against as well both conceding just twice.
This us what the Moroccan coach has to say about Nigerian team:
“The Nigerian team is a good team, they have some good individual players that try to win all their one against ones.

“They have two good strikers, they are difficult when they are near your goal but we prepared good for this game. We have our qualities and we believe in our qualities and in our players.

“During this tournament we have had many chances and many goals. We have scored from set pieces, we scored in open play from the wings from the centre and we have many solutions for the game tomorrow.

“It will be a tough game – we believe in our team and Inshallah we will be successful tomorrow.”

Nigeria coach Salisu Yusuf:
“We know the Moroccan team is a very good team playing at home, moved by the crowd.

“But I think we have shown a lot of strong character in all our games – two games we came from behind.

“We played a hard game with Sudan who are a good team and we survived 30 minutes with 10 men. We have shown a lot of character to be champions.

“The Moroccans have the support at home and we respect them but I think it is going to be a very exciting final and very interesting.”

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