South Africa produced a captivating display to defeat Morocco 2-1 in the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers on Saturday.
The clash between these two qualified teams showcased the prowess of two African football giants. Playing in front of their home crowd, South Africa took control of the game from the outset.
The Moroccans, perhaps fatigued after a demanding season that saw them reach the semifinals of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, struggled to impose their game against the resolute Bafana Bafana.
South Africa wasted no time asserting their dominance, as Percy Tau’s cross led to an unfortunate own goal by Munir El Kajoui, the Moroccan goalkeeper.
The second half began with South Africa maintaining their momentum, taking advantage of the Atlas Lions’ defensive vulnerability. Zakhele Lepasa capitalized on a defensive lapse to extend South Africa’s lead.
The FNB Stadium was abuzz with excitement, with CAF President Patrice Motsepe in attendance to witness this high-profile encounter.
However, the Atlas Lions refused to surrender. Hakim Ziyech showcased his brilliance by scoring a magnificent left-footed shot, sparking hope for Morocco’s comeback.
Goals: Munir El Kajoui 5′ (Own Goal), Z. Lepasa 48′, H. Ziyech 60′
Yet, it proved insufficient as the North Africans suffered their first official defeat since their World Cup elimination.