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Bafana Advance After Thrilling Draw

Afcon 2013

Result: South Africa 2-2 Morocco

Date: 27 January 2013

Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium

Referee: Papa Gassama

South Africa twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Morocco to top Group A and qualify for the quarter-finals of Afcon 2013.

Issam El Adoua gave the Lions of Atlas the lead of half-time, but May Mahlangu brought the hosts back into the match. Abdelilah Hafidi then put the Moroccans up again, but Siyabonga Sangweni netted four minutes from time to secure the point.

In the other Group A match, Cape Verde secured a late 2-1 over Angola to ensure they also reached the knockout stages along with Bafana.

Bafana were under pressure early on as Itumeleng Khune was called upon to make multiple saves while the defensive duo of Bongani Khumalo and Siyabonga Sangweni were kept busy. Despite two calls for penalties denied as Thuso Phala and Tokelo Rantie went down in the Moroccan area, it was the visitors who went ahead as El Adoua turned in a corner on ten minutes.

Khune was again called on to keep the ball out when another shot from Chahir Belghazouani came desperately close to sneaking in.

Just before the half-hour Bafana came close when Phala went storming into the area and crossed to Bernard Parker, but the final shot sprayed across the face of goal.

Rantie then went on a brilliant counter attack with acres of space on the left, but with two players waiting in the centre, the final pass lacked any conviction and the Lions of Atlas were able to clear the danger.

With half-time looming Khune produced a sensational piece of goalkeeping as he thwarted the effort of an onrushing Kamel Chafni who expertly beat the offside trap.

After the break Bafana came out with new energy and nearly bagged an equaliser, but Phala’s superb free-kick was just turned around the corner by Nadir Lamyaghri.

Khune then again kept his team alive with a telling save when he found himself one-on-one with Youssef El-Arabi and managed to get a hand on the final shot.

With 19 minutes to play the Moses Mabhida Stadium erupted as May Mahlangu got the ball on the edge of the area and picked his spot before curling it into the corner for the vital equaliser.

But the Moroccans regained their lead shortly after when substitute Abdelilah Hafidi smashed the ball past Khune from close range.

The unlikely figure of Siybonya Sangweni then beat the offside trap with four minutes to play and with all the time in the world, the Orlando Pirates defender netted his second goal in as many matches to make it 2-2 giving his team the vital point as they held on for the draw.

Standard Bank Moment of the game. With just four minutes remaining on the clock, the surprise figure of Siyabonga Sangweni found himself with a shot at goal from the edge of the area and buried it with the finesse of an international striker to give his country a well-deserved 2-2 draw, sending the Moroccans out of the tournament.

South Africa: Itumeleng Khune, Anele Ngcongca, Bongani Khumalo (captain), Siyabonga Sangweni, Tsepo Masilela, Dean Furman, May Mahlangu, Thuso Phala, Bernard Parker (Reneilwe Letsholonyane 76), Tokelo Rantie, Katlego Mphela (Thulani Serero 51).

Morocco: Nadir Lamyaghri, Abderrahim Achchakir, Ahmed Kantari, Mehdi Benatia, Abdelaziz Barrada (Mounir El Hamdaoui 75), Youssef El-Arabi, Youssef Kaddioui (Abdelilah Hafidi 53), Abdelhamid El Kaoutari, Issam El Adoua, Chahir Belghazouani (Zakarya Bergdich 63), Kamel Chafni.

Goals: Issam El Adoua (Morocco, 10), May Mahlangu (South Africa, 71), Abdelilah Hafidi (Morocco 82), Siyabonga Sangweni (South Africa 86)

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