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Africa Cup of Nations: Morocco eliminated by South Africa

Africa Cup of Nations: Morocco eliminated by South Africa

Morocco surprisingly, but not without deservedly, lost the final round of 16 of the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations. The former Dortmund player has become a tragic figure, and South Africa's record is a dream.

Unlimited joy: South Africa's Teboho Mokoena (No. 4) celebrates the impressive 2-0 win with his national team teammates.
AFP via Getty Images

Morocco, who were without an ill Ziyech for their 1-0 win over Zambia – where Leverkusen Adli started in his place – scored the first goal of the match. But Williams blocked En-Nesyri's attempt and then canceled it due to offside (9'). An important scene because coach Walid Regragui's team was suffering from many problems.

Bono must take a long time

It was because of the bravery of the South African players that Mokoena even had the best chance of the first half: Bono had to rush in and make a save after landing (16th). Because former Dortmund defender Hakimi and Bayern Munich defender Mazroui (fit after suffering a muscle tear) kept things going from the wings, but like the rest of Morocco, they were unable to assert themselves, and the first half ended goalless.

The black Atlas came out of the cabin with great force. Morocco had the best opportunity, but Onahi shot over the goal after Al-Adly took possession of the ball (47). It seemed that the South African national team, coached by Hugo Bruce, which was the last team to defeat Morocco (2-1 in the qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations), was beginning to lose its strength.

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Suddenly, the outside player made it 1-0: after a ball in the middle of the field, Makgoba had an easy time thanks to his good reception of the ball in the penalty area and beat Bono (57). On the other hand, Williams denied Abdi a goal in the 59th minute for the Angry Lions of Atlas.

Hakimi fails – Mokoena's dream goal

While Morocco increased the pressure, Bafana Bafana remained calm and allowed almost nothing. In the 81st minute, the favorites came to a dangerous conclusion again – and because Mvala had a hand in El Kaabi's shot, video images showed a penalty kick. Only: For the Moroccans who were then surprised, Hakimi only hit the crossbar (85th minute).

Things got worse for Morocco in the end. Amrabat received a red card due to an emergency stop in front of Mokoena (90.+4), and the offending player executed a direct free kick in the corner (90.+5). When Morocco were outnumbered, there was nothing that could happen in more than ten minutes of stoppage time, and the Atlas Lions were never dangerous. On the other hand, Cape Verde awaits South Africa in the quarter-finals on Saturday at nine o’clock in the evening, German time.