Hosts Morocco secured their place in the quarters of Chan 2018 tournament after they beat Guinea 3-1 on Wednesday night.
Ayoub El Kaabi scored a perfect hat-trick for the Atlas Lions as they registered their second straight victory in the competition.
Guinea’s consolation goal came from Saidouba Bissiri Camara with a neat finish to cancel out El Kaabi’s opening effort. At the 64th minute, Morocco doubled the score to the delight of over 40,000 supporters.
Four minutes later, El Kaâbi scored the third goal of the match. Morocco dominated the possession from the start in the day’s first game but lacked the cohesion to carry much threat to Guinea, who for their part were happy to disrupt and look for counter-attacks.
The hosts were forced into a change after just 18 minutes when Wydad Casablanca’s Walid El Karti replaced the injured Abdelilah Hafidi.
It was African Champions League winner El Karti, who set up the opening goal in the 27th minute with a cross that he swung into the penalty area which was headed home by El Kaabi.
Less than a minute later Guinea equalised with a counter attack – Bissiri chesting a ball played through by Sekou ‘Trezeguet’ Camara down between two defenders before deftly lifting it over the onrushing Moroccan keeper Anas Zniti.
In the second half, Morocco continued to push for a second goal but spent too much time on the ball and when they did decide to pass it lacked quality.
Their lucky break came in the 64th minute when Guinea’s Aboubaca Camara, instead, of clearing the ball, tried to play it across the area and succeeded only in passing it to El Kaabi, who fired home from just outside the area.
Four minutes later, El Kaabi started and finished a counter attack that gave him his hat-trick when he played a half-pitch one-two with Ismail El Haddad, who presented him with an open goal to make it 3-1.
With the second consecutive defeat in the tournament, Guinea, which played the semi-finals of the Chan 2016 in Rwanda, stands no chances to qualify for the second round.
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