By LAWRENCE OSHODI, Sports Correspondent –
South African’s Bafana Bafana Tuesday evening secured a 2-0 victory against the Moroccans, thus shutting the World Cup semi-finalists out of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 currently holding in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The two goals – all in the second half of the thrilling encounter, were score by Evidence Makpoga and Teboho Mokoena.
The result was no doubt a big shock to the Moroccan team, led by Achraf Hakimi and Romain Saïss.
Teboho Mokoena, scored the second goal Morocco, who had Sofyan Amrabat sent off late on, were among the favourites at the tournament and were touted by many as the team to beat in the finals.
South Africa led in the 57th minute when midfielder Themba Zwane, so often the creative fulcrum of the side, slipped a pass through to tall striker Makgopa and he calmly slid the ball past goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, before Mokoena fired in a superb late free kick.
With nerves on edge and emotions running high, Morocco had a chance to level with the score at 1-0 when they were awarded a penalty, but Achraf Hakimi hit the crossbar and it will be South Africa who play Cape Verde in the quarter-finals in Yamoussoukro on Saturday.
With just about five minutes to stoppage time, South Africa scored their second goal through courtesy Teboho Mokoena, who dashed the Moroccans’ hopes and raised the spirits of the South Africans.
(With additional reporting by ESPN)