Morocco 6 Benin 1: Ruthless hosts lift the gloom
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday revealed that Morocco would no longer host next year's Africa Cup of Nations after requesting the postponement of the competition due to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa.
Morocco were also informed by CAF that they will not be permitted to play in the tournament, which is due to start in January, but they were in no mood to feel sorry for themselves as Benin bore the brunt of their frustration.
Badou Zaki's men headed into the game on the back of three wins in a row, scoring 11 goals in the process, and strikes from Nordin Amrabat, Abderrazak Hamdallah (two), Omar El Kaddouri, Ayoub El Khaliqi and Marouane Chamakh, in his first international appearance for well over two years, ensured their fine form continued.
Rudy Gestede had pulled a goal back for Benin just before half-time, but they were already three goals down at that point and there was no sign of a second-half fightback as Morocco ran riot.
Amrabat set the ball rolling when he headed home an outswinging corner seven minutes in, but the Malaga striker had to be withdrawn due to injury in the first half.
Hamdallah doubled the hosts' lead after 28 minutes, taking a touch and firing home from close range, with El Kaddouri making it 3-0 just three minutes later by racing into the penalty area to latch on to Chamakh's lay-off and convert.
Blackburn Rovers forward Gestede struck just before half-time by heading in an inviting cross, but Morocco inflicted more misery on the visitors after the break.
El Khaliqi took advantage of some terrible defending to slot the fourth goal on the hour-mark, poking in with his right foot, then Zakaria Labyad broke the offside trap and squared for Hamdallah to apply a simple finish for goal number five 10 minutes from time.
Crystal Palace striker Chamakh then celebrated his return from international exile by heading home a corner in stoppage time as Benin were consigned to a third consecutive defeat.