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"Morocco 0-2 South Africa: World Cup Semi-Finalists Stunned in Africa Cup of Nations Last 16"
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South Africa’s Surprise Win Over Morocco in Africa Cup of Nations Quarter-Finals

South Africa pulled off a stunning upset by defeating Morocco 2-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations round of 16, advancing to the quarter-finals. Evidence Makgopa, a striker for Orlando Pirates, scored in the 57th minute, while Teboho Mokoena secured the victory with a goal in added time. Adding to Morocco’s woes, Achraf Hakimi missed a late penalty, and Sofyan Amrabat was sent off.

The match saw South Africa strategically capitalize on counter-attacks, with Makgopa’s goal breaking the deadlock as he skillfully avoided an offside trap. Morocco, despite dominating possession and creating several opportunities, failed to convert their chances. Their hopes further dwindled when Hakimi missed the penalty and Amrabat received a red card for a foul on Mokoena.

Mokoena’s late free-kick sealed the win for South Africa, leading to jubilant celebrations among the Bafana Bafana team. In the quarter-finals, South Africa will face Cabo Verde, while Morocco will regret missing a significant opportunity in the tournament.

In a separate match, Mali secured their place in the quarter-finals with a 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso. They will face tournament hosts Ivory Coast in the next round.

Post-Match Analysis: Morocco’s Disappointment

Morocco’s unexpected loss raises questions about what went wrong for the team. Despite having numerous chances and dominating possession, they failed to capitalize on their opportunities. The missed penalty by Hakimi and Amrabat’s red card further compounded their troubles.

Credit is due to South Africa for their effective game plan and execution, which proved successful against the favored Moroccan side. However, Morocco’s fans and management had high expectations for the tournament, and there will likely be pressure on the team’s manager in the aftermath of this defeat.

Player of the Match: Teboho Mokoena

Mokoena’s outstanding performance throughout the match earned him the title of Player of the Match. He not only scored the decisive goal but also provided a consistent threat with his attacking play, testing the Moroccan goalkeeper with several long-range shots.

Player Ratings:

Morocco: Bounou 7, Hakimi 5, Aguerd 7, Saiss 5, Attiat-Allah 5, Amrabat 3, Ounahi 5, Amallah 6, Ezzalzouli 7, Adli 6, En-Nesyri 6.

South Africa: Williams 7, Mudau 8, Kekana 9, Mvala 8, Modiba 8, Mokoena 9, Sithole 8, Morena 8, Tau 7, Zwane 7, Makgopa 9.

Key Match Highlights:

58’ – Goal! South Africa takes the lead with a goal from Makgopa.
82’ – Penalty awarded to Morocco after a handball by Mvala.
85’ – Hakimi misses the penalty, hitting the crossbar.
91’ – Amrabat receives a red card for a foul on Mokoena.
96’ – Goal! Mokoena scores a stunning free-kick, securing South Africa’s victory.

Key Stats:

South Africa will face Cape Verde in the quarter-finals, aiming to reach the semi-finals for the first time in 24 years.
Morocco’s quest for an AFCON title continues, with their last triumph dating back to 1976.

Piers Potter

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