Morocco, host nation of CHAN-2018 and one of the favourites for the final victory, qualified as expected for the semi-finals by beating newcomer Namibia 2-0 on Saturday in Casablanca with tournament top scorer Ayoub El-Kaabi getting his sixth goal.
The 24-year-old striker, who opened the scoring in the 36th minute with a close second from Walid El-Karti, became the all time top scorer in the African Championship of Nations, a competition reserved for players on the continent with his sixth goal, one more than Zambia’s Given Singuluma in the first edition nine years ago.
El-Kaabi, who scored five goals in two group phase matches, can increase his total against Congo Brazzaville or Libya in the semi-finals on Wednesday, followed by a final or third-place match if necessary.
If the young striker continues to shine and score, he could be of interest to Morocco’s national coach Hervé Renard, in the build up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Nambia, who were participating in CHAN for the first time, were saluted by their president, Hage Geingob, for making history and making their country proud.
In the other quarter-final of the day, Sudan, second behind Morocco in Group A, produced an upset when they beat high flying Zambia 1-0.
Sudan will face the winner of the Sunday quarter final between Angola and Nigeria.
The project to introduce the Video Adjudication Assistant (VAR) from the quarter-finals was abandoned, announced a spokesman for the CAF without giving a date for a possible implementation of the system.
Morocco 2 Namibia 0
Morocco: Ayoub El Kaabi (36), Salaheddine Saidi (55)
Sudan 1 Zambia 0
Sudan: Saifeldin Bakhit (32)