The African Nations Championships (CHAN) has reached the final bend to climax where West African Nations have dominated the last four teams on semifinals. West Africa has got three teams; Guinea, Mali and the hosts of Cameroon alongside the Northerners of Morocco who are the defending champions.
Although the west Africans have a couple of teams on the semifinals, the defending champions of Morocco stand a huge chance of lifting this year’s CHAN edition. Here is a look at the last four teams in the semifinals.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon – The Hosts
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have put up their best performance at the CHAN tournament after eliminating DR Congo on a 2-1 score to storm the semifinals, surpassing their best performance ever of a two-time quarterfinal Finnish in the 2011 and 2016 respective editions.
Cameroon under coach Martin Ndtoungou Mpile is driven by the home fan base which stood by them when eliminating the two-time champions of DR Congo in the quarter-final round. Though their scoring record at the championships is not amazing at all, they seem to know when to get the result they want working together as a team.
Cameroon’s main weapon is the home advantage after having gotten fans into their stadia, despite the fact they stand a lesser chance of progressing to the final as they are to battle it out with the defending champions of Morocco.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco – the defending champions
The Atlas Lions of Morocco stand higher chances of defending the 2021 CHAN tournament but they have a hurdle to jump when they play against the hosts in the battle of the Lions.
Morocco is the highest-scoring team at the tournament having netted a total of nine goals so far and the biggest scoreline coming in a 5-2 win against the Cranes of Uganda. Morocco under coach Hussein Lhovcine Ammouta eliminated the only foreign coach Multin Sredjovic ‘Micho’ who had made it to the quarter-finals when they beat Zambia by 3-1 margin to make it to the semifinals.
Morocco’s main weapon at the tournament has been their pressing and counter-attacking football which has produced results when they needed them, their attacking duo of captain Ayoub El Kaabi and Soufiane Rahimi has provided five goals which have seen Ayoub El Kaabi top the scorers log with three goals to his name.
Mali – The Eagles (Les Aigels)
The Eagles from Mali hold the best defence at the championships having conceded just once but they struggled to make it to the semifinals after playing out to a goalless draw against Congo Brazzaville in a game which lasted for two hours ending in a 5-4 penalty win for the eagles.
Mali is eager to make a return to the finals which they last played five years ago and lost 3-0 to DR Congo, which is so far their best ever performance at Tournament. They stand slightly higher chances than their semifinal opponents Guinea to making it to the finals.
Guinea – The National Elephants
Guinea’s best performance at the CHAN tournament was a fourth-place finish at the 2016 championships where they lost to Ivory Coast in a third-place tie.
Guinea who play an open game stands 50/50 chances against their semifinal opponents of Mali in a West African affair as they look forward to defying the odds though they come as the underdogs according to the pecking order.
Guinea’s only single goal against the Amavubi Stars of Rwanda in a 10-10 man show was just enough to ensure a semifinal slot for the national elephants and they are the second-highest scoring team with seven goals so far just two behind Morocco which ensures goals in their semifinal tie.
Semifinals match Wednesday 3rd February
- Guinea vs Mali – Japoma Stadium Douala (6:00 pm)
- Cameroon vs Morocco – Limbe stadium (10:00 pm)