Morocco moved three points clear atop Group A following a 3-1 win over Guinea in an African Nations Championship (Chan) match at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Wednesday.
Ayoub El Kaabi scored a superb hat-trick for the Atlas Lions to take his goal tally in the tournament to five in two matches. Saidouba Bissiri netted what proved a mere consolation for the Syli Nationale.
Morocco hit the front with 27 minutes on the clock following a sustained spell of pressure. El Kaabi with a thunderous header that cannoned off the woodwork and into the back of the net.
Guinea, though, hit back straight from the ensuing kick-off as Bissiri guided a delightful finish past the on-rushing Anas Zniti.
Morocco 1-1 Guinea at the interval.
El Kaabi restored the hosts lead in the 64th minute of the match. The forward pounced on a defensive mistake from the visitors before firing a sweet left-footed finish into the back of the net to further underline his credentials as deadly finisher.
The forward duly completed his treble four minutes later with the easiest of finishes. Ismail El Haddad unselfishly squaring the ball for his fellow attacker, who made no mistake to seal all three points for the tournament hosts.
The two teams will be in action again on January 21, with Morocco set to tussle with Sudan at the same venue. Guinea will travel to Marrakech to take on Mauritania at the same time in the final round of Group A fixtures.
Morocco (1) 3 (El Kaabi 27' 64' 68')
Guinea (1) 1 (Bissiri 28')
Morocco: Zniti; Jbira, Aguerd, Benoun, Nahiri - El Haddad, Barrahma, Saidi (Boulhroude 56'), Hadraf - Hafidi (El Karti 18') - El Kaabi (Bencharki 77').
Guinea: Kante; I.Sylla, Gal Camara (Landel 72'), Ancamara, A.Bangoura - M.N'Diaye (D.Camara 48'), D.Bangoura, I.S.Sankhon - A.Camara, Sekou, Bissiri (S.Keita 75').