Zambia have crashed out of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast after narrowly losing one goal to nil at the hands of Morocco.
A Hakim Ziyech goal seven minutes before half time was enough to knock out the 2012 champions who only needed a draw to progress to the last 16.
Ziyech’s goal which arrived after confusion in the Zambian box came just when Chipolopolo looked like they had weathered the Moroccan storm after the North Africans applied immense pressure but were guilty of missing several chances.
Chipolopolo were, however, resurgent in the second half but could not find the back of the net.
Chipolopolo coach, Avram Grant, made significant changes by benching Fashion Sakala and Kings Kangwa, and bringing on Kennedy Musonda and Miguel Chaiwa, who had an impressive game in midfield.
While Sakala and Kangwa came on from the substitute bench late on in the match, they failed to influence the outcome of the game.
Lameck Banda had an impressive showing on the left flank, coming out top a number of times against experienced Moroccan right back Achraf Hakimi.
Chipolopolo put up a spirited fight in the second half but lacked the cutting edge.
On the opposite end of the pitch, Zambia goalkeeper Lawrence Mulenga had a decent performance.
Morocco finish top of Group F on seven points while Democratic Republic of Congo are runners-up with three points after drawing nil-all against Tanzania.
Zambia, who finished the group in third place with just two points, gave a life line to hosts Ivory Coast , who have gone through to the last 16 round as one of the best third placed teams.
Morocco and Democratic Republic of Congo have both progressed from Group F to the knock out phase of the competition.
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