2023 AFCON: Morocco v South Africa report

2023 AFCON: Morocco v South Africa report
Teboho Mokoena of South Africa celebrates his goal during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations match between Morocco and South Africa at Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro, Cote dIvoire on 30 January 2024 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Wednesday Jan 31, 2024. 00:39

At the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Tuesday night at the Stade Laurent Pokou, South Africa defeated Morocco 2-0, breaking Moroccan hearts. With the victory, Bafana Bafana advances to the competition’s quarterfinals, where they will take on Cape Verde.

Date: 30 January 2024

Morocco (0)

South Africa (0) 2 (Makgopa 57’, Mokoena 90+5’)


Morocco: Y. Bounou, A. Hakimi, N.Aguerd, R. Saiss, N. Mazraoui (Y. Attiyat Allah 76’), A. Ounahi, S. Amrabat, S. Amallah, (I. Saibari 60’) A. Adli (A. Harit 60’), Y. En-Neysri, A. Ezzalzouli

South Africa: R. Williams, K. Mudau, G. Kekana, M. Mvala, A. Modiba, S. Sithole (T. Monare 87’), T. Mokoena, P. Tau, T. Zwane (T. Maseko 70’), T. Morena, E. Makgopa (Z. Lepasa 72’)

First 45’: The match started off being evenly balanced, however, Morocco had the edge and were more convincing. Achraf Hakimi proved to be a player who would be troublesome for Bafana Bafana to handle, as he broke through the defence after receiving a through pass from the wing. Ronwen Williams was able to deal with the threat, as South Africa continued to find their feet in the game.

Percy Tau had an attempt on goal after South Africa had a go on the counter attack, but ultimately were not successful as Percy Tau’s effort went over the crossbar. Aubrey Modiba and Grant Kekana received bookings respectively, as South Africa had to tread carefully with crucial defenders being booked.

Teboho Mokoena stood out for South Africa as the team closed out the first half by breaking lines and making more efforts in terms of pressing to retain possession.

Second 45’: As the second half went underway, it was clear that the atmosphere had changed, especially for South Africa. Evidence Makgopa opened the scoring in the match on behalf of Bafana Bafana in the 57th minute as his left-footed shot went into the bottom corner of the net.

In the 80th minute, Mothobi Mvala conceded a penalty after a shot hit his arm and after careful review from VAR, a spot kick was given. Hakimi was tasked with taking the penalty, but ultimately failed to convert as his shot hit the crossbar.

In a plot twist of events, Sofyan Amrabat was sent off for Morocco after he brought Mokoena down in a one on one as he charged for goal. A free kick was given outside of the box and was taken by Mokoena who powered his shot into the back of the net during stoppage time. As South Africa doubled their lead, it was all but confirmed that they qualified for the quarter-finals of the AFCON.

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