Captain Ibrahim Sory Sankhon led by example by scoring the only goal as Guinea beat Mauritania in the final Group A match on Sunday in Marrakech.
The Horoya AC midfielder netted on the quarter hour mark to ensure Guinea ended their campaign on a winning note.
After successive losses in their opening games; 2-1 against Sudan and 3-1 against Morocco, a situation which led to the axing of head coach Kanfory Lappe Bangoura, the Guineans had the better against a Mauritanian side, which was also playing for pride.
The bright start of the Syli National was rewarded in the 15th minute when Daouda Bangoura squared Sankhon to fire home the opener.
Whilst Mauritania laboured in search of their feet, the Guineans remained in control and should have doubled their lead midway when Sankhon put Jean Charles Fernandez through, only for the latter to miss target narrowly.
The second half belonged to Mauritania who were yet again haunted by their inefficiency in front of goal. On 52 minutes, a Moulayeahmed Khalil cross found Elhassen Teguedi who headed wide with only Guinea goalie Abdoulaye Kante at his mercy.
Hemaya Tanjy was the next culprit heading into the waiting hands of Kante from Alassane Diop's free-kick on the hour mark.
Few minutes later, forward Bagili Babacar missed Mauritania's best chance but shot feebly after Khalil had done all the work, allowing Kante to collect the ball with ease.
Mauritania goalie Souleimane Brahim was to his side's rescue with a point blank save of a Sankhon goalbound shot following a cross by substitute Daouda Camara.
Guinea held on to claim victory leaving Mauritania at the bottom of the standings with no point.
In the other Group A clash in Casablanca, host Morocco and Sudan settled for a barren draw.
Total Man of the Match: Ibrahim Sory Sankhon (Guinea)
Ibrahima Sory Toure (Head Coach, Guinea)
I dedicate this victory to my friend and brother, Kanfory Lappe Bangoura, who was relieved of his duties just after our loss to Morocco. Today, we played in his honour. We've had many difficulties. After losses to Sudan and Morocco, we thank God for this victory.
It was tough mentally for the Guinean players, because they revolted and didn't want to play following the dismissal of Bangoura. There were many talks for them to rescind the decision, and it really affected our performance. We won 1-0 but mentally we were not up the level. We could have killed the game in the first 15 minutes, but looks like we were satisfied with just one goal.
Martins Corentin (Head Coach, Mauritania)
It was the same situation of having chances and failing convert. When you are not efficient in front of goal in football, you pay the price.
We wanted to go back with at least a point and also finding the back of the net, but it did not happen. I feel sorry for the fans who travelled from Casablanca to cheer us on.
I don't have any criticism of my players. They did their best and we hope to continue in the future. I'm satisfied with content of my players.