In a dramatic turn of events at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), South Africa delivered a stunning upset by defeating Morocco 2-0 in the Round of 16 stage, securing their place in the quarter-finals.
Despite being the top-ranked nation in Africa, Morocco faced an unexpected exit after a ten-man battle against a resilient South African team. The match featured standout performances and late-game twists that left football fans on the edge of their seats.
Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena emerged as the heroes for Bafana Bafana with excellent second-half goals. Makgopa’s well-placed finish into the bottom corner broke the deadlock and set the stage for a memorable victory. The goal, initially reviewed by VAR, was allowed to stand, giving South Africa the lead.
Morocco, despite dominating possession and having several scoring opportunities, faced a setback when Achraf Hakimi missed a late penalty that could have equalized the score. The Atlas Lions’ hopes further dwindled as Sofyan Amrabat received a red card after a VAR review for a foul on Mokoena as the last man.
Teboho Mokoena, seizing the moment, capitalized on a free-kick he had earned, whipping home a brilliant shot to seal South Africa’s triumph. The victory sparked jubilant scenes within the Bafana Bafana squad, marking a historic moment in AFCON.
South Africa will now face Cape Verde in the quarter-finals, positioning themselves as underdogs with the potential to make further waves in the tournament. On the other hand, Morocco, considered a favorite, will reflect on a missed opportunity to secure the prestigious continental title.
In another AFCON match on the same day, Mali secured their place in the last eight by defeating Burkina Faso 2-1. Mali will face tournament hosts Ivory Coast in the upcoming quarter-final clash.
The AFCON tournament continues to deliver unexpected twists and turns, showcasing the unpredictable nature of football on the African continent.