Morocco edge Libya to reach final of African Nations Championship

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-01 05:04:27|Editor: yan
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RABAT, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Hosts and tittle favorites Morocco defeated Libya 3-1 in extra time on Wednesday to qualify to the final of the African Nations Championship.

In a quite balanced first half at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca, the Moroccan team tried to break the deadlock, but they were frustrated by an organized Libyan team.

The first half saw a brilliant header from midfielder Salaheddine Saidi rebound off the woodwork and a shot on target from right-back Mohamed Nahiri punch from Libyan goalkeeper Mohamed Nashnoush.

The Libyan strong defence was finally beaten in the 73nd minute by top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi.

However, a mistake from Moroccan goalkeeper Anas Zniti offered the Libyans a precious opportunity to come back in the 86th minute when Libya's Abdoulrahman Khalifa equalized it.

El Kaabi pounced again in the 97th minute to give the lead to the Atlas Lions through a header, his eighth goal in the tournament.

The Atlas Lions sealed the victory in the 117th minute when Walid El Karti won a penalty and converted it himself.

Morocco won their only African Cup Nations in 1976 but reached the quarter finals in 2017.

The final of the tournament, which is reserved only for African players based in their domestic leagues, will be staged at the same venue on Sunday.