In a surprising turn of events, tournament favorites Morocco have been eliminated from the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after a 2-0 defeat against South Africa on Tuesday evening.
South Africa, with this victory, is set to face Cape Verde in the quarter-finals on Saturday, February 3, at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro.
The match saw both teams engaged in a closely contested battle for supremacy in the first half, resulting in a goalless draw.
However, South Africa took the lead in the 57th minute as striker Evidence Makgopa found the net with a well-placed shot inside the 18-yard box.
Despite intense pressure and a penalty opportunity for Morocco in the 83rd minute, when Teboho Mokoena handled the ball inside the South African box, Achraf Hakimi’s penalty hit the crossbar, denying Morocco the equalizer.
Sofyan Amrabat received a red card after a challenge on Mokoena, leaving Morocco with ten men on the field. South Africa capitalized on the numerical advantage, securing the win with a second goal from a brilliant free kick by Teboho Mokoena.