Morocco won the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations title for the first time in its history, after Oussama Tergalin scored at the end of the first extra period to give his country a 2-1 victory over ten players from Egypt in the final in Rabat on Saturday.
Mahmoud Saber gave Egypt the lead after ten minutes from the start, before the referee expelled him after Abdel Samad Al Zalzouli intervened in the 17th minute.
Banis Bakraoui equalized for Morocco eight minutes before the break, the first goal against Egypt in nine matches since the start of the qualifiers.
Targalin won the title with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, which was misjudged by goalkeeper Hamza Alaa, which landed in his own net.
Egypt, which won the title in 2019, pressed from the start, and Mohamed Shehata almost gave it the lead with a shot from inside the penalty area, which was removed by goalkeeper Alaa Balaroush.
Brazilian coach Rogerio Micale’s team succeeded in taking the lead when Saber fired a stunning long-range shot into the net of Bellarouch.
Shortly after that, the video assistant referee intervened to expel Saber, after an intervention on Al-Zalzouli.
And Bilal Al-Khanous sent a cross pass from the right, which was turned by Bakrawi from close range, into Alaa’s net.
Morocco pressed in the second half, with Egypt retreating to defense and relying on counter-attacks led by Ibrahim Adel.
Morocco was close to snatching the title minutes before the end, when Al-Zalzouli launched from the left and sent a pass that was turned by substitute Amine El-Wazzani towards the goal, but goalkeeper Alaa saved the situation.
Al-Zalzouli deceived everyone when he passed a ball from a free kick instead of shooting, to reach his colleague Targalin, to shoot into Alaa’s goal and give his country the title.
The two teams guaranteed qualification for the 2024 Paris Olympics, in addition to Mali, which won third place.
Fourth-placed Guinea are in the play-offs against the fourth AFC U-23 Cup, which Qatar will host next year.
The teams of France, Spain, Israel, Ukraine, the United States and the Dominican Republic ensured qualification to Paris, where the competitions will be held with the participation of 16 teams.