South Africa draw with Morocco to top AFCON 2013 Group A
Posted: 27 January 2013 Time: 19:51
South Africa have qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals after a 2-2 draw against Morocco at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Sunday evening.
Bafana Bafana twice went behind to goals from El Adoua and Hafdi, but responses from May Mahlangu and Siyabonga Sangweni secured the point which saw the hosts go through.
The north Africans started strongly and fired an early warning shot when Kadioui’s effort from just outside the area went wide. Shortly afterwards, the same player forced Itumeleng Khune into a smart save after running onto a lobbed pass.
However, Morocco’s dominance was eventually rewarded on 10 minutes when El Adoua rose highest at a corner to head the ball into the back of the net, though Khune should have done better with the cross.
Despite scoring the goal, the north Africans refused to sit back and almost netted twice in as many minutes when Belghazouani’s shot was turned around the corner. From the resultant set-piece, El Adoua had another free header that went narrowly wide.
Bafana’s first shot at target came on 27 minutes when Bernard Parker found some space in the box, but he dragged his effort across the face of goal.
Morocco had another great chance to extend their lead in the 45th minute when Chafni was sent clean through on goal, but Khune raced out of his area and saved with his feet.
Barrada tested Khune with a shot early in the second half, but Bafana were much better after the break and almost drew level when Thuso Phala’s free-kick forced a brilliant one-handed save from Lamyaghri.
However, on the hour-mark Morocco should have doubled their lead when a mistake from Sangweni allowed El Arabi a free run at Khune, but again the Kaizer Chiefs man came out on top with an excellent one-handed save.
Goalkeeper Lamyaghri was having a great game and, after saving a snap-shot from Thulani Serero, he did well to tip a Phala free-kick around the post.
Then, on 71 minutes, a moment of magic from Mahlangu. Some nice interplay with Tokelo Rantie allowed the midfielder some space on the edge of the area, and he made no mistake with a brilliant curling effort.
Bafana were making all the play but, against the run of play, they found themselves behind again. The Moroccans broke down the right and Bergdich’s cross found Hafidi, who fired past Khune.
Bafana were in trouble, but again they managed to find an equaliser, and again it was a special goal. The ball broke to Sangweni, who found himself in acres of space and with a sight of goal, and he made no mistake with a curling effort into the far corner.
It was a nervy end for Bafana, who also lost Mahlangu to injury, but they managed to hang on for the draw that sees them progress as group winners.