The Atlas Lions of Morocco have booked a quarter final place in the on-going Africa Nations Championship after a hard fought 3-1 win over Uganda Cranes in a Group B tie at the Cape Town Stadium this evening.
Abdessad Rafik, Lajour Mouhssine and Abdelkbir El Ouadi scored for the North Africans.
Morocco who needed a win to qualify for the last eight started well with an early goal through Abdessamd Rafik. Midfielder Fatah Said curved in a delightful cross that Rafik slotted well past Uganda’s goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan.
Coach Milutin ‘Micho’ Sredojevic’s team resorted to tight defending as the Moroccans dominated play.
After the interval Micho replaced Julius Ntambi for off colour Nicholas Wadada and the substitution paid dividends as the Cranes started to attack in numbers. Junior Yunus Sentamu equalized for the Cranes in the 60th minute after finishing off a well chipped Vincent Kayizzi cross.
The Cranes mounted lots of pressure, but where again caught off guard in defense as Julius Ntambi failed to clear the ball and substitute Iajour Mouhssine made it 2-1 for Morocco.
The Cranes tried to attack in numbers and were caught on the break only for El Quadi to score in an empty net after his first attempt had been parried back by Ugandan goalkeeper Ochan.
It was a bad ending for the Cranes who had hoped to make history and qualify for their first ever quarter final in a major CAF tournament. They failed to come out of the Group in the 2011 Edition held in Khartoum, Sudan.