• Confederation Cup: Morocco's Ayoub El Kaabi scores for Renaissance Berkane

    (BBC Sports) Morocco's Ayoub El Kaabi, the top scorer at the recent African Nations Championship (CHAN), scored again at the weekend this time for his club Renaissance Berkane in the Confederation Cup.

    His goal on Sunday helped Berkane beat visiting Mbour Petite Cote of Senegal 2-1 in the first leg of the preliminary round tie,

    He scored in the 66th-minute soon after the visitors had Adama Gueye red-carded, and it cancelled out the lead Baba Sow gave the west Africans before half-time.

    El Kaabi, a Moroccan second-tier footballer last season, scored a record nine goals as hosts Morocco won the CHAN for home-based players.

    Laba Kodjo struck on 76 minutes to give Berkane an uncomfortably narrow advantage ahead of the return match.

    A remarkable four penalties were missed before Asante Kotoko of Ghana converted one in stoppage time to edge CARA of Congo-Brazzaville 1-0 on Sunday.

    Saddick Adams fired the first Kotoko spot-kick wide before team-mates Amos Frimpong and Baba Mahama had their attempts saved in Kumasi.

    The Congolese side also had a penalty saved before Mohammed Yakubu eventually converted one.

    The second legs of the ties are set to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday 20-21 February.

    Confederation Cup results - preliminary round 1st leg

    Sunday's Results:

    APR (Rwanda) 4-0 Anse Reunion (Seychelles)

    AFC Leopards (Kenya) 1-1 Fosa Juniors (Madagascar)

    Akwa Utd (Nigeria) 1-2 Hawks (The Gambia)

    Asante Kotoko (Ghana) 1-0 CARA (Congo)

    Simba (Tanzania) 4-0 Gendarmerie Nationale (Djibouti)

    Renaissance Berkane (Morocco) 2-1 Mbour Petite Cote (Senegal)

    Africa Sports (Ivory Coast) 1-1 Nouadhibou (Mauritania)

    Zimamoto (Zanzibar) 1-1 Wolaitta Dicha (Ethiopia)

    Saturday's Results:

    Petro Atletico (Angola) 5-0 Masters Security (Malawi) 0

    Young Buffaloes (Swaziland) 0-1 Cape Town City (South Africa)

    Costa do Sol (Mozambique) 1-1 Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana) 0

    Energie (Benin) 1-0 Hafia (Guinea)

    Ngazi (Comoros) 1-1 Port Louis (Mauritius)

    Mangasport (Gabon) 0-1 Maniema Union (DR Congo)

    Olympic Star (Burundi) 0-0 Etoile Filante (Burkina Faso)

    New Stars (Cameroon) 2-1 Deportivo Niefang (Equatorial Guinea)

    Tanda (Ivory Coast) 0-0 La Mancha (Congo)

    Al Ittihad (Libya) 1-0 Sahel (Niger)

    Al Masry (Egypt) 4-0 Green Buffaloes (Zambia)

    Friday's Result:

    Onze Createurs (Mali) 1-1 Belouizdad (Algeria)

  • CAF: Difaa El Jadidi Crushes Benfica of Guinea Bissau 10-0

    By Morocco World News

    Rabat – Moroccan football team Difaa Hassani El Jadidi defeated on Saturday Guinea-Bissau’s Benfica football team with a 10-0 victory. Saturday’s win has enabled the team to achieve the biggest single-leg victory in the 54-year history of the CAF Champions League.

    The squad’s key winger, Hamid Ahaddad netted five goals for his team in the preliminary round first leg rout, to become the top scorer in the history of the tournament.

    Tanzanian Simon Msuva scored a hat-trick during the game, while the Mauritanian Bakery N’Diaye has also scored a goal for Difaa Hassani El Jadidi. Morocco’s Bilal El Magri has managed also to leave his mark during the game through scoring a solo.

    The 2018 CAF Champions League, commonly referred to as the 2018 Total CAF Champions League, is the 53rd edition of the competition and the 22nd edition under the current CAF Champions League format.

    The tournament, which is taking place from February 10 to November 11, is gathering together 54 teams from 47 associations.

  • NT: Zinedine Machach to Represent Morocco Instead of Algeria, World Cup Play Likely

    By Morocco World News

    Zinedine Machach to Represent Morocco Instead of Algeria, World Cup Play Likely

    Rabat – Herve Renard, Morocco’s national football team coach, has managed to convince Moroccan-Algerian midfielder Zinedine Machach to join the Moroccan national football team.

    Born to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother, Machach has been playing for the Italian team Societa Sportiva Calcio Napoli, commonly referred to as Napoli.

    The news was confirmed by Moroccan sports TV Channel Arryadia. Via Twitter, Arryadia posted, “Convinced by Herve Renard, Zinedine Machach will wear the Moroccan colors. Born to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother, Machach has been playing for Napoli since January 2018 for a four and a half year contract.”

    Machach and several other Moroccan footballers playing internationally are expected to make Renard’s Morocco squad for the World Cup in Russia.

    Born in France, the 22-year old footballer began his youth career with AS Cannes and Olympique Marseille before signing with Toulouse in 2014.

  • CHAN 2018: Nigeria outclassed by Morocco in CHAN final

    (AfricanFootball.com) Nigeria’s dreams of a first African Nations Championship title were dashed on Sunday night when they suffered a 4-0 beating at the hands of hosts Morocco in the final in Casablanca.

    The Super Eagles, who played most of the second half with 10 men, were outclassed by the Atlas Lions, who became the fourth different winners of the CHAN, joining DR Congo, Tunisia and Libya on the honours board.

    Morocco gave an early warning of their attacking potency when striker Ayoub El Kaabi headed home from Ismail Haddad’s corner kick in the seventh minute, but the goal was correctly ruled out because the ball had passed out of play in its flight.

    El Kaabi took centre stage again in the 15th minute when he met Haddad’s left-flank cross with an acrobatic overhead kick and rattled Nigeria’s crossbar with the effort, underlining the Atlas Lions’ early dominance.

    Nigeria came into the game a little more as the first half wore on, but the hosts remained dangerous in attack and finally broke the deadlock just before the interval.

    A slick move put Abdeljalil Jbira free down the left flank, his pullback from the by-line picked out Zakaria Hadraf and the winger fired a low shot into the back of the net, beating goalkeeper Dele Ajiboye low to his right.

    Things went from bad to worse for the Super Eagles when Peter Moses, who was already on a yellow card, scythed down Mohamed Nahiri early in the second half and was sent off for a second caution.

    The Atlas Lions duly made the most of their numerical advantage, with Walid El Karti doubling their lead on the hour mark when he headed home on the rebound after Ajiboye saved Haddad’s shot, before Hadraf added his second a few minutes later to make it 3-0.

    A Morocco win at this tournament wouldn’t be complete without a strike from El Kaabi, and the forward duly notched his ninth of the 2018 CHAN when redirected a shot from Nahiri in the 73rd minute to complete the scoring.

    Morocco (1) 4 (Hadraf 45’ 64’, El Karti 61’, El Kaabi 73’)

    Nigeria 0

    Morocco: Zniti, El Yamiq, Boulahroud (Barrahma 60’), Hadraf (Hammoudan 72’), Saidi, El Kaabi (Nahnah 82’), El Karti, Haddad, Banoun, Nahiri, Jbira

    Nigeria: Ajiboye, Okoro, Atuloma, Orji, Eze, Ogbugh (Okpotu 53’), Ali (Oladapo 57’), Moses, Udo, Ojo, Okechukwu (Mustapha 78’

  • CHAN 2018: Morocco African Champion after beating Nigeria 4-0!

    Final whistle! and Morocco CHAN champion!

    82' Ayoub El Kaabi replaced by Ayoub Nanah

    77' Benoune booked

    73' El Kaabi scored the 4th goal for Morocco vs Nigeria

    72' Hadraf replaced by Hammoudan

    63' Hadraf gives Morocco their 3rd goal vs Nigeria

    61' El Karti gives Morocco their second goal vs Nigeria

    60' Boulehroud replaced by Berrahma

    52' Boulehroud booked

    47' Moses from Nigeria received his second booking and is sent off

    Second half underway!

    Half Time!

    44' Hadraf scored for Morocco the leading goal 1-0 against Nigeria

    Watch the goal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pdv8JSUdbnw

    15' El Kaabi hits the bar!

    Match is underway!

    Competition: CHAN 2018 Final

    Location: Mohamed V Complexe, Casablanca

    Kickoff: 19h00 GMT, 20h00 CET

    Morocco starting line up:

    Zniti-El Yamiq-Banoune (C)-Nahiri-Boulehroud-Jbira-Hadraf-Saidi-El Kaabi-El Karti-El Haddad

    Live streaming video link: http://snrtlive.ma/

  • NT: Jamal Sellami hints at World Cup hope for Ayoub El Kaabi

    (KweséESPN) Morocco coach Jamal Sellami has paid tribute to African Nations Championship top scorer Ayoub El Kaabi and believes the striker is in Herve Renard's consideration ahead of the World Cup.

    El Kaabi has been one of the CHAN's outstanding individuals so far, breaking the record for goals scored in a single edition of the competition after netting eight goals en route to the final.

    He has the opportunity to add to his tally in Sunday's final against Nigeria in Casablanca, while Sellami also believes he has the opportunity to impress Renard ahead of the Atlas Lions' World Cup campaign.

    "For El Kaabi, tomorrow is the big moment for him he has to show he is ready for the future," Sellami told journalists on Saturday. "Herve Renard is here and looking at him, he has a chance.

    "Many didn't know him before now, and we are glad to have found a player like him," Sellami added. "El Kaabi has guided us to the final, he is our strength but he is supported by the team."

    The RS Berkane frontman netted twice in Morocco's opener against Mauritania in the group stage, and scored a hat-trick as Guinea were dispatched 3-1.

    In the knockouts, he broke the deadlock in the 2-0 victory over Namibia, and then went on to net twice - including in extra time - as the Atlas Lions beat Libya 3-1 in the semi final.

    "We believed that he was just a poacher who waited for the right moment to shoot," continued Sellami, "but in fact, he's a generous player who does well for his teammates and knows to keep his head on his shoulders.

    "He's evidence that we have immense potential here in Morocco, we just have to find and nurture the talent."

    Goalscoring hasn't been an area of strength for Morocco's senior national side under Herve Renard, with 30-year-old Khalid Boutaib only emerging as a viable option for the Atlas Lions during 2017.

    El Kaabi is one of several home-based Moroccan players who have impressed on home soil during the CHAN, and will surely be harbouring hopes of gatecrashing the party in Russia.

  • Talents: Meet Yassine Benrahou of Bordeaux. Young talent re-confirms his decision to represent Morocco instead of France.


  • Qatar: Former Morocco international defender Talal El Karkouri is appointed new manager for Umm-Salal

  • Moroccans Abroad: Betis defender Feddal ruled out for six months with injury

    MADRID (Reuters) - Real Betis defender Zou Feddal will miss the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon against Villarreal on Saturday.

    The Moroccan central defender was taken off after suffering the injury in the 52nd minute of Betis's 2-1 La Liga win at the Benito Villamarin.

    "You will be out for six months but we are convinced you will return stronger than before, with more hope and desire than ever," said Betis on Twitter.

  • WC 2018: Zouhair Feddal out!

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Zouhair Feddal ruptured his achilles tendon during today's La Liga game with Betis. The defender will miss the party in Russia. We wish him a speedy recovery. #fuerzaZou


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