South Africa 0-1 Morocco
Al Salaam Stadium, Cairo
South Africa are now on their knees praying that they can somehow make it to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Bafana Bafana lost 0-1 to Morocco on Monday, a result that saw them finish third in Group D of the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
Having won one and lost the other of their first two games, Stuart Baxter’s side came into the encounter needing a positive result so as to ensure they got past the groups.
However, despite a disciplined defensive performance, they conceded late and will now be praying other results fall their way so as to be part of the four best placed side who will reach the round of 16.
With the game headed for a dead-lock, M’bark Boussoufa broke South African hearts with the only goal of the game, coming on the 90th minute mark.
Off a free kick which was not dealt with by South Africa, Boussoufa fired through a sea of bodies and into the back of the net, leaving Ronwen Williams well beaten.
It was not the first time that Williams had been left for dead as Achraf Hakimi had earlier seen his curling effort rattle the cross bar with the custodian left for dead.
Unlike in the games against Ivory Coast and Namibia, South Africa looked composed at the back but were still struggling to create chances at the other end.
The closest they came in the first half was through Percy Tau, who curled a left-footed effort agonizingly wide of the right hand post.
Thulani Hlatshwayo also had an off-balance header saved but like in the first game against Ivory Coast and huge spells in the win over Namibia, Bafana Bafana, lucked the cutting edge up front.
Tau also saw brilliant corners fail to attract proper contact as the game went into the break 0-0.
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.
By the end of the game, it was a tale of South Africa not being good enough as they suffered a second loss in three group games.
Having beaten Namibia in the first game, South Africa finish third in Group C with just three points.
However, after the tournament was expanded to 24 teams, South Africa will not pack their bags as yet, as they van still qualify as one of the four best third placed teams.
For Morocco, they march onto the next round with a 100% record, having won all three of their group games.
In the other game, Ivory Coast defeated Namibia 4-1 to qualify from the group in second place.
Max Gradel’s volley and Ryan Nyambe’s own goal gave the Elephants a 2-0 lead before Joslin Kamatuka pulled a goal back for Namibia.
But Zaha added a third with a right-foot shot after cutting in off the left before Maxwel Cornet’s placed fourth.
Namibia pack their bags and head out of the competition with no points after losing all their games.
The other games on Monday
-Kenya vs Senegal @10pm
-Tanzania vs Algeria @10pm