Morocco get Eliminated in Africa Cup Shock

Morocco get Eliminated in Africa Cup Shock



January 31st, 2024

The Atlas Lions' AFCON 2024 journey came to a premature and shocking end on Tuesday night, as Morocco were eliminated by South Africa in a 2-0 quarter-final upset. The Atlas Lions, who had captivated audiences with their vibrant play at the World Cup, were subdued by a disciplined and opportunistic Bafana Bafana side.

Bafana Bafana Show Defensive Prowess

From the outset, South Africa adopted a cautious approach, opting for a compact defensive shape and aiming to frustrate Morocco's attack. This strategy proved highly effective, as the Atlas Lions struggled to find their rhythm and penetrate the Bafana backline.

The South African defense, marshalled by the impressive duo of Mothobi Mvala and Siyabonga Ngobo, stifled Morocco's attacking threats. Hakim Ziyech's absence due to injury was keenly felt, and the Atlas Lions lacked their usual fluidity and creativity in the final third.

Morocco get Eliminated by Makgopa and Mokoena 

South Africa's defensive solidity wasn't just about containment; they also displayed a clinical edge on the counter-attack. In the 57th minute, Themba Zwane slipped a perfectly weighted pass through to Evidence Makgopa, who coolly slotted the ball past Yassine Bounou to give Bafana Bafana the lead.

Morocco's hopes were dealt a further blow just after the hour mark when they were awarded a penalty for a handball in the South African box. Achraf Hakimi, usually reliable from the spot, saw his effort cannon off the crossbar, symbolizing the Atlas Lions' misfortune on the night.

With Morocco chasing an equalizer and leaving gaps at the back, South Africa exploited the space ruthlessly. In the dying minutes, Teboho Mokoena curled a stunning free-kick into the top corner, sealing Bafana Bafana's historic victory and getting Morocco eliminated from the tournament.

AFCON 2024

Morocco will undoubtedly reflect on their reliance on key players like Ziyech and their vulnerability in the face of compact defending. The searing African heat also seemed to sap their energy in the latter stages of the game.

For South Africa, this victory marks a significant moment of redemption after years of continental disappointment. Their defensive resilience and opportunistic finishing were the cornerstones of their success, and they will face Cape Verde in the quarter-finals with renewed confidence.

Morocco getting eliminated is just one of several surprises that have unfolded in this AFCON edition. The tournament has been characterized by unexpected outcomes, showcasing the depth and competitiveness of African football. With the quarter-finals now set, fans can expect even more drama and excitement as the continent's best teams battle for glory.

While Morocco's AFCON dream may have ended, the tournament continues to captivate audiences across the globe. South Africa's stunning victory is a testament to the unpredictable nature of football and serves as a reminder that every team has a chance to write its own fairytale in this African odyssey.

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tag: Morocco , AFCON , South Africa , Achraf Hakimi , Hakim Ziyech

Klind Parangoni Author

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