South Africa coach Gordon Igesund expressed his pride, but admitted there was still work to do as Bafana Bafana advanced to the quarter-finals of Afcon 2013.
Bafana twice came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Morocco as they topped Group A to make the knockout stages for the first time since 2002.
“They fought really hard today,” Igesund said of his team.
“I wasn’t happy because the first goal was a free header. That shouldn’t happen at this level, but it happened. Fortunately we kept playing and got a beautiful goal to come back.
“Then once we got that goal, we went back into defensive mode and they scored again. We had to dig really deep for this result.”
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune produced a sensational performance in goal, but Igesund it was important to acknowledge the efforts of all his players.
“Itumeleng Khune - fantastic job, but the whole team did well,” Igesund said.
“It’s a great occasion for the home team and I think we made the country proud.
“We still got work to do, but we’re in the quarter finals now, just two games to go until the final. I want to give credit to Morocco. They are a good team and their coach did a good job to organise his team, but at the end of the day, I’m proud of my players.”
Orlando Pirates centre-back Siyabonga Sangweni netted South Africa’s second goal and it proved vital as Cape Verde defeated Angola, meaning Bafana needed nothing less than the draw.
“At that stage we had to push forward. We needed to push for the goal because I knew the score of the Cape Verde game. Fortunately we pushed forward and we got the goal,” added Igesund.
“There was great support out there and a great occasion for everybody.”