South Africa produced one of the major upsets in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023 after knocking Morocco out with a 2-0 win in the round of 16.
The first half saw few goalscoring opportunities being created.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco got the best chance of the first half but saw their goal being disallowed by the VAR.
The second half was opposite to what the first half provided in-terms of drama and goals.
South Africa took the lead in the 57th minute when striker Evidence Makgopa connected to a pass inside the 18-yard box to hit the ball into the bottom right corner of the net.
After going down, Morocco had just one mission, to equalize. This led to the introduction more forwards.
Morocco were awarded a penalty in the 83rd minute when a ball hit the hands of Teboho Mokoena in the South African 18-yard box and a penalty was awarded after VAR review.
Achraf Hakimi stepped up to convert but he ended up hitting the ball against the crossbar and his effort went off the pitch.
Huge relief it was for South Africa after the miss but the pressure was still on them.
Sofyan Amrabat was shown the exit after a challenge on a Mokoena as last man and was shown a second yellow, which was upgraded to a straight red after VAR review by referee Mahmood Ismail
South Africa took advantage of the numerical disadvantage and added the second goal to seal the game thanks to a wonderful free kick by Teboho Mokoena.
South Africa will play Cape Verde on Saturday, February 3 at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro at the quarter-finals.
Hugo Bross, South Africa coach
“In the first half, we tried to contain them and cut off their passing lines. In the second, the game opened up and we scored. We knew that whoever scores first in the match will have a big advantage.”
Walid Regragui, Morocco coach
“We fought until the end with our weapons. I am disappointed for our supporters who deserved much better. Personally, I felt we were capable of bringing this cup home. But that didn’t happen. I hope my players will learn, especially the younger ones.”