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South Africa shock Morocco to advance to quarters of AFCON 2023



South Africa stunned Morocco with a 2-0 victory in the round of 16 of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The clash, held on Tuesday night at Stade San de Pédro, saw South Africa deliver a spirited performance, earning them a spot in the quarter-finals.

Bafana Bafana scored two pivotal goals in the second half to seal their fate. In the 57th minute, Evidence Makgopa’s sublime finish injected hope into the South African squad, setting the stage for a potential upset.

In the 85th minute the drama continued as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) awarded Morocco a  penalty for a handball. But Paris Saint-German star Achraf Hakimi missed it.

Sofyan Amrabat headed for an early shower with a dangerous tackle. The incident led to a free-kick and South Africa’s Teboho Mokoena expertly converted. Mokoena’s precise kick beat Bono, the goalkeeper for the Atlas Lions in stoppage time, securing a 2-0 triumph for Bafana Bafana.

The victory propels South Africa into the quarter-finals, where they are set to face Cape Verde. As they aim to replicate their glory from 1996, South Africa is putting their pieces together, demonstrating resilience and determination after missing out on the previous edition.

The unexpected outcome against the favoured Morocco has added an extra layer of excitement to the 2023 AFCON with Ivory Coast already pulling an upset against defending champions Senegal on Monday night.

South Africa’s AFCON 2023 journey

Having missed out on the 2021 edition, South Africa under the charge of Hugo Broos started the 2023 AFCON on a poor note losing 2-0 to Mali. However, they bounced back remarkably beating Namibia 4-0 in the second game and held Tunisia to a scoreless draw. These results were enough to march them to the next stage.

Looking forward, South Africa are hoping to get into the last four of the competition. This projected feat would be their first in 24 years. Their last attempt saw them suffer a quarter-final exit against Nigeria in 2019.

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