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Totalenergies U17 Afcon: Zambia Down Morocco in Annaba but Exit

Emmanuel Mwanza scored an 87th minute penalty as Zambia beat Group B leaders Morocco 2-1 in Annaba on Saturday, but it was not enough to see them through to the quarter finals of the TotalEnergies U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

Zambia earned their first three points of the competition, but they ended up bottom of the group with three points, with South Africa edging them to third on head-to-head record.

The young Chipolopolo’s chances were dashed even before kick off and were playing for pride in a bid to depart with their heads held high.

Morocco was also already qualified and assured of topping the group after back to back wins, but wanted to ensure they keep their 100 percent record intact.

They had a good start and they went ahead in the 18th minute when Zakaria Ouazane found the back of the net finishing off a pass from Mohamed Radouane.

Adam Boufandar almost made it 2-0 for the Atlas Cubs four minutes later, but his effort was turned behind for a corner.

The Zambians tried to turn the tide in their favor with Mwanza having an effort at goal on the half hour mark through a freekick, but it did not hit the target.

In the second half, Zambia upped the tempo and Mwanza was a constant threat, with a rasping shot from range in the 68th minute going marginally wide.

Their pressure bore fruit in the 74th minute when substitute Samson Malaya finished off from a corner. The goal gave the Zambians some renewed vigor and Mwanza was denied by the woodwork in the 85th minute.

Two minutes later though, he found the back of the net from the penalty spot after a foul inside the box.

This was the first time in the competition that Morocco were conceding, having posted cleansheets in their first two victories over Nigeria and South Africa.

They will now travel back to Constantine, where a battle royale against hosts Algeria awaits them in the quarter finals on Wednesday.

Source : CAF