Sudan masterminded one of the biggest upsets of the tournament beating favourites Zambia 1-0 on Saturday in Marrakech to reach the semis.
Saifeldin Bakhit scored the only goal on 32 minutes as the Sudanese extended their fairy tale run in the competition.
The highly favoured Zambians were frustrated by the tactically disciplined Sudanese, as they failed to hit the back of the net for the first time, in a game that they needed goals to keep their hopes alive.
The Desert Hawks as the Sudanese are nicknamed got off the better side with Saifeldin, Mohamed Hashim and Maaz Abdelrahman creating problems for the Chipolopolo rear guard.
However, it was the Zambians who had the first chance at goal as a Kondwani Mtonga header from an Adrian Chama corner was met by a sharp response from Sudan goalie Akram El Hadi.
The tide turned and Sudan got the opener two minutes after the half-hour mark after Maaz teed Saifeldin to fire past Zambia goalie Toaster Nsabata for what turned out to be the only goal of the match.
Just before the break, the Sudanese missed a golden chance to strengthen their lead as the partnership of Maaz and Saifeldin came to haunt the Zambians yet again. A long ball from Akram found Saifeldin who outran Chama and squared Maaz, who missed target narrowly with Nsabata at his mercy.
Zambia made their intent clear upon resumption and five minutes past the hour mark, the Sudanese were let off the hook after substitute Friday Samu’s connection went off target.
Chipolopolo coach, Wedson Nyirenda, further strengthened his attack by bringing on Jackson Chirwa and Chanda Mushili for John Mwengani and Ernest Mbewe respectively, but their presence could do little towards the scoreline.
Sudan held on to claim victory and cruise to the last four with a date against either Nigeria or Angola.
“It was a difficult game for us. We knew Zambia had quality,” said a happy Sudan coach Zdravko Logarusic.
“I have been in charge for only five weeks, and with piece of luck and some good, we won. Zambia created chances and were just unlucky. The first thing was to put the ball at the back of the net and we succeeded in doing that.
“Football can be cruel; sometimes you deserve to win, but end up losing. Other times, you deserve to lose, but end up winning.
“For now, let us celebrate tonight and we will see what will happen from tomorrow’s game between Nigeria or Angola,” he added.