Ivory Coast joined Rwanda in the quarter-finals of the African Nations Championship 2016 on Sunday after defeating Gabon 4-1 to claim second place in Group A. Morocco demolished table-toppers Rwanda with a 4-1 win of their own, but it still wasn't enough to advance.
Gabon hit back from a goal down to put the Elephants' tournament future in doubt, but three goals in the last 25 minutes saw Ivory Coast cruise past Sunday's opponents to book their spot in the last eight.
Morocco, meanwhile, found their goalscoring touch after failing to score in their previous two group games. A first-half barrage from Mohamed Aziz, Abdeladin Khadrouf and Abdelghani Mouaoui (two) couldn't pull the Atlas Lions through.
They finished level with the Elephants on four points, but Ivory Coast's 1-0 win over Morocco in the first round of the tournament means they advance, with Gabon finishing last in the pool.
Read on for roundup of the latest scores from Rwanda as the final round of group-stage fixtures got underway on Sunday, complete with updated table standings and Monday's schedule.
|Sunday's CHAN 2016 Results|
|Team 1||Score||Team 2|
|CHAN 2016: Group A Standings|
|CHAN 2016: Monday Fixtures|
|Team 1||VS.||Team 2|
|Cameroon||vs.||Democratic Republic of Congo|
The Elephants faced the unimpressive Gabon knowing a win was all that was needed to head through to the knockout stages, but it was touch-and-go for periods of their collision.
Essis Aka gave Ivory Coast an early lead, but Michel Dussuyer's side failed to build on that strike and Gabon were thus allowed to stem the tide and make it to half-time with a 1-0 deficit running against them.
It took the Panthers just six minutes to level the scores after the restart, though, and Franck Obambou handed the basement team a lifeline with his 51st-minute equaliser.
Moroccan fans everywhere held their breath in the hope of seeing a second for Gabon, but a late flurry from goalscoring trio Djedje Guiza, Koffi Davy Mahinde Boua and Nilmar Treika Mondesir Ble ended their campaign at the first hurdle.
After witnessing a lack of incision in attack during their first two outings, Morocco made changes to alter their priorities for the must-win encounter against table leaders Rwanda on Sunday.
Mohamed Fakhir's men stormed out of the gates and took a 2-0 lead thanks to Mouaoui and Aziz. However, Nigerian broadcaster Kelechi Nkoro posted footage of the Amahoro Stadium celebrating after Hegman Ngomirakiza pulled one back for the tournament hosts:
Kelechi Nkoro @K1Says
That Goal has brought this place alive.....#CHAN2016 Rwanda vs Morocco 1:2 https://t.co/lGiLEYDzLR1/24/2016, 2:29:46 PM
However, it proved to be little more than temporary respite. Johnny McKinstry's team were hit twice more before the half-time whistle, with Khadrouf adding a third and Mouaoui doubling his tally for the day after getting on the end of a superb through ball.
The one-sided nature of the tie was detailed as Rwanda prepared for an uphill battle in the second period:
HT: Morocco making mince meat of Rwanda. 4-1 against the hosts. #CHAN20161/24/2016, 2:54:09 PM
The onslaught stopped there, however, and whereas Ivory Coast intensified later in their outing, the Atlas Lions couldn't find the back of the net for the remainder, ending 4-1.
Goals counted for little in the end, of course, and the Elephants' victory in Kigali means Morocco bow out on a high, perhaps left to question why they couldn't perform to the same standard earlier in the competition.
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