Bafana Bafana are sweating on a place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations knockouts after 90th-minute heartbreak saw them edged out by Morocco on Monday night.
The South Africans played an unadventurous hand against Herve Renard’s North Africans, gambling on not slipping up at the back being enough to see them to one of the best third-place finishes.
A pair of speculative Percy Tau corners and an off-balance
Thulani Hlatshwayo header were as close as South Africa came in a stop-start
opening half an hour.
The flow of the game was hindered by a succession of late
challenges, with Themba Zwane and second game hero Bongani Zungu yellow carded.
Tau came far closer in the 34th minute, fizzing a
left-footed shot just beyond the left-hand post from the edge of the area.
Stuart Baxter’s men started brightly after half time, with Thamsanqa
Mkhize lashing just wide to the right of goal.
But it was Achraf Hakimi who came closest of all, giving the
crossbar a right old rattle from the edge of the area with Ronwen Williams well
The game slowed to a crawl as the second half went on, with
Morocco happy to coast into the last 16 and Bafana willing to risk managing a
0-0 to sneak them through.
Thrilling football it was not, but it looked like keeping alive the hopes of Mzansi for at least one more game.
Until a defensive lapse from a free kick allowed M’bark Boussoufa to fire through the bodies and in for the winner.
It leaves Bafana relying on results elsewhere to help them through to the round of 16.
Morocco goal vs South Africa
South Africa 0-1 Morocco: Highlights
South Africa 0-1 Morocco: 2019 Africa Cup of Nations result
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