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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 February, 2004, 15:53 GMT
Tunisia win Cup of Nations
Khaled Badra and Riadh Bouazizi lift the trophy
The suspended Khaled Badra and Riadh Bouazizi lift the trophy
Tunisia 2-1 Morocco

An error from Morocco keeper Khalid Fouhami gifted Tunisia their first-ever African Cup of Nations title.

Striker Ziad Jaziri poked home the winner six minutes after the break when Fouhami fumbled Jose Clayton's low cross into the penalty area.

Tunisia took the lead after just four minutes when Francileudo dos Santos finished off Mehdi Nafti's cross.

Morocco bounced back just before half-time when Youssef Mokhtari headed in Youssef Hadji's clipped centre.

Defeat for Morocco was hard on an unfancied side, whose young attack, which included Youssef Mokhtari, Youssef Hadji and Marouane Chamakh dazzled defences during the three weeks of competition.

In the final though, that trio and the rest of Morocco's attacking force was well shackled by a tough Tunisia defence, marshalled by Ajax's Hatem Trabelsi.

Francileudo Dos Santos scored the opener for Tunisia
Morocco's backline also proved stubborn resistance in a match which produced few clear-cut scoring opportunities.

That said, it took only four minutes for Morocco's defence to be exposed when the hard-working Nafti flighted in a superb cross from the right-wing which the relatively diminutive Dos Santos nodded into the goal.

A frenetic few minutes followed, as Tunisia pressed forward for a second.

Sochaux midfielder Adel Chedli picked a bad time to leave his shooting boots at home when he blasted high and wide from another Nafti centre.

A battle in the middle of the Stade Rades pitch followed with Tunisia looking to shut up shop as early as midway through the first-half, with Morocco seeking a way back into the match.

And with just a few minutes left before the interval break it seemed that Roger Lemerr's side had stifled all Morocco had to offer.

However, Hadji, who has shone in almost every game at this Cup of Nations, had another plans.

The brother of the more illustrious Mustapha, delivered a carefully weighted cross which eluded all but Mokhtari who sent his bullet header past keeper Ali Boumnijel.

Game on. But such was 100mph feeling of the opening half, things had to slow down.

The tempo did, but somebody obviously forgot to tell Fouhami that he still had to keep his reactions sharp.

The keeper has shone throughout the tournament for Morocco having conceded just two goals before the final, but his blunder for Tunisia's second is what he will be remembered for in this tournament.

Tunisia and Morocco fought a tense battle
Tunisia and Morocco fought a tense battle
Clayton, who earlier tested the keeper with a wicked volley, delivered a softly struck cross into the six-yard-area.

Fouhami inexplicably failed to collect the ball, leaving Jaziri to take advantage and tap in.

It was expected that a Morocco onslaught was to follow, but that never occured.

The Atlas Lions were a spent force. The youthful vigour had finally run out of steam.

For Lemerre's Tunisia though, their dogged determination in all areas of the pitch, proved to be enough on the day.

Of course, had Fouhami not fumbled, it may have been a different story.

Morocco: Khalid Fouhami; Hoalid Regragui, Abdeslam Ouaddou, Noureddine Naybet, Talal El Karkouri, Akram Roumani (Jaouad Zairi, 73); Abdelkrim Kissi, Youssef Safri (Mohammed El Yaagoubi, 63), Youssef Mokhtari; Youssef Hadji (Nabil Baha, 87), Marouane Chamakh.

Tunisia: Ali Boumnijel; Hatem Trabelsi, Radhi Jaidi, Karim Hagui, Jose Clayton; Riadh Bouazizi, Mehdi Nafti (Jawhar Mnari, 46), Adel Chadli; Slim Benachour (Kais Ghodhbane, 57); Zied Jaziri (Imed Mhadhebi, 70), Santos.

Referee: Falla Ndoye (Senegal).

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