The national handball team missed a great opportunity to play the first African Cup final in its history, after the defeat (19-23) suffered against Cape Verde in the semi-finals of the continental competition. Less prepared mentally than in previous duels, Noureddine Bouhaddioui’s men came up against a better organized and tactically superior Cape Verdean team. The Atlas Lions will play the game for third place on Monday against Tunisia.
The Atlas Lions failed to break the glass ceiling in the African Cup and qualified for the first final in their history in the continental competition. Indeed, in 19 participations in the CAN, since the edition of Rabat in 1987, the national team missed the final nine times! She consoled herself with a third place in Tunis in 2006, the team’s best performance in the competition. And once again, during this 2022 edition of the CAN in Egypt, the disappointment was palpable for the Moroccan handball players, who thought they were writing history by qualifying for the last round of the CAN. After qualifying for the 2023 World Cup, obtained thanks to the victory in the quarter-finals against Guinea, the Moroccan handball players hoped to pass the obstacle of Cape Verde in the semi-finals, but it was without counting with a Cape Verdean team tough, very well organized and mentally and tactically superior.
Thus, during the match, the Cape Verdeans proved intractable against a Moroccan team overwhelmed by events. The islanders finished the first period with a two-point lead (9-11), before confirming their superiority in the second period. After this setback, Noureddine Bouhaddioui’s men will have the opportunity to clinch third place in this AFCON, if they manage to beat Tunisia on Monday in the classification match.