Percy Tau of South Africa
Sunday Mar 24, 2019. 21:02
South Africa defeated Libya 2-1 in their final 2019 Africa Cup of the Nations (AFCON) qualification Group E match at the Stade Taieb Mhiri on Sunday.
As a result, Bafana Bafana secured their place in the AFCON finals, while the Mediterranean Knights failed to qualify.
The Mediterranean Knights had held Bafana Bafana to a goalless draw in a Group E match in Durban last year.
The hosts dominated the opening stages of the match and Darren Keet was a busy man in the South Africa goal.
The Bidvest Wits goalkeeper was called into action in the seventh minute and he denied Libya attacker Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.
The Mediterranean Knights continued to press and they had another chance to break the deadlock with the half-hour mark approaching.
Ali Elmusrati's goal-bound effort was brilliantly saved by Keet as the shot-stopper continued to keep Libya at bay.
South Africa came close to scoring when Themba Zwane's low shot was deflected wide by the Libya defence in the 39th minute.
The score was 0-0 at the interval thanks some good goalkeeping by Keet, who denied Ahmad Benali on the stroke of half-time.
South Africa broke the deadlock just five minutes after the restart through their star forward Percy Tau.
The Belgium-based attacker scored with a thunderous left-footed shot which beat Muhammad Nashnoush to make it 1-0 to South Africa.
The hosts then piled pressure on the Bafana defence and the Mediterranean Knights were awarded a penalty after Anis Saltou was fouled by Keet.
Former Manchester City midfielder Benali beat Keet from the spot-kick to make it 1-1 in the 65th minute much to the delight of the home crowd.
However, parity was only restored for three minutes as Tau scored with a curling effort from inside the box to make it 1-1 with Kamohelo Mokotjo grabbing an assist.
South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter pulled out attacker Zwane and the British tactician introduced defensive midfielder Hlompho Kekana.
The hosts managed to contain Libya in the closing stages of the match and ultimately, South Africa ran out 2-0 winners on the night.
Libya (0) 1 (Benali 65')
South Africa (0) 2 (Tau 50', 68')
Libya: Nashonush, Berrish, Masaud, Elhouni, Elmusrati, Abdussalam, Salama, Mohamed, Tajouri-Shradi, Baleid (Saltou 52'), Salem Ali.
South Africa: Keet, Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Hlatshwayo, Maela, Mkhize, Furman, Mokotjo, Zwane (Kekana 78'), Tau (Veldwijk 90'+4), Mothiba.