South Africa knock Morocco out of AFCON, advances to quarter-finals
Morocco faced an unexpected exit as South Africa secured a 2-0 victory, reaching the quarter-finals for the third time in their last four African Cup of Nations appearances, thanks to Evidence Makgopa’s decisive goal.
The first half unfolded with tight scoring opportunities marked by Teboho Mokoena’s audacious 40-yard attempt, causing a moment of concern for Yassine Bounou.
Morocco’s halftime message seemed to have emphasised more attacking intent, but Bafana Bafana’s counterattack proved pivotal. Makgopa, yet to score in the tournament, capitalised on a well-timed run, scoring and sending his team into wild jubilation.
Despite Morocco’s desperate attempts, their chance to level from the spot came late in the game. Ayoub El Kaabi’s close-range effort struck Mothobi Mvala’s hand, resulting in a contentious penalty. Moroccan star Achraf Hakimi’s penalty hit the crossbar, lacing the team’s frustration with predicament.
With Sofyan Amrabat receiving a red card for a foul in injury time, Morocco faced further adversity. Teboho Mokoena’s sublime free-kick goal into the top-left corner sealed Bafana Bafana’s progress and compounded Morocco’s misery.
South Africa’s coach Broos, conscious of the tournament’s unpredictable nature, now dares to believe their 28-year trophy drought might end in just 12 days.
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