It's party time in Tunisia after the host nation beat Morocco to win the African Cup of Nations.

Tunisia struck twice in both halves to beat the Moroccans, 2-1 in the match played before a capacity crowd at the 60,000-seat Rades stadium in the Tunisian capital.

The first goal came early, in the fifth minute, through Tunisia's Brazilian import Dos Santos.

Youssef Mokhtari equalized for the Moroccans seven minutes before the break, but Ziad Jaziri put the Tunisians back in front after the Moroccan goalkeeper spilled a shot into his path in the 51st minute.

The Tunisians never allowed Morocco back into the match after that second goal and the final whistle sparked wild scenes of jubilation in Tunis.

This is the first time Tunisia has won the Nations Cup since its inception in 1957. It was runner-up in 1965 and 1996. Morocco's only Nations Cup triumph was in 1976.

In the third place playoff Friday, Nigeria beat Mali. The teams retained their positions of the 2002 Nations Cup when Nigeria once again beat Mali into fourth place. Nigeria's captain Jay Jay Okocha received the Player of the Tournament award.

The next African Cup of Nations finals will be held in Cairo in 2006. Qualifying games for that get under way later this year.