Africa Cup of Nations 2013: South Africa through to quarter-finals
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Another dramatic encounter but feel sorry for Morocco, who are now heading home
Moroccan hearts were broken after a late equaliser from Siyabonga Sangweni sent hosts South Africa through to the quarter-finals as Group A winners in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Goals from Issam El Adoua and Abdelilah Hafidi for Morocco were cancelled out by strikes from May Mahlangu and Sangweni for Bafana Bafana.
Morocco dominated early and took the lead on ten minutes when El Adoua rose above South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune to head home from a corner.
The Atlas Lions, without suspended Arsenal and Tottenham target Younes Belhanda, almost added a second ten minutes later when Chahir Belghazouani’s shot was turned around the post by Khune.
Bafana Bafana’s first chance of the game fell to Bernard Parker after 27 minutes but his left-footed strike flashed wide of the post after some neat passing.
Khune saved South Africa’s blushes just before half-time when he raced out to deny Kamel Chafni who was clean through on goal.
Moroccan goalkeeper Nadir Lamyaghri produced a wonderful save just after the break to keep out Thuso Phala’s swerving free-kick from 25 yards out.
The hosts nearly conceded a second on the hour mark when El-Arabi found himself one on one with Khune but his chip was saved.
However, the stadium erupted on 70 minutes when Mahlangu curled the ball into the top corner from the edge of the box to equalise for South Africa.
Substitute Hafidi fired Morocco ahead on 82 minutes when he took the ball down on his chest and fired home with his left foot from 12 yards out.
But the drama was from over as Bafana Bafana equalised again minutes later when Sangweni curled the ball past Lamyaghri for his second goal of the tournament.
South Africa now face the runners-up from Group B in the quarter-finals while Cape Verde will play the winners and Morocco head home.