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South Africa edge Morocco to go top

by Lesley Ngwa
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By Peter Kanjere

South Africa saw off Morocco 2-1 at FNB Stadium on Saturday evening in a Group K Afcon encounter involving already qualified teams

Morocco were unfortunate to conceded so early in the Group K encounter when Munir Kajoui sent the ball into his own net barely after six minutes into the game.

Zakhele Lepasa had the chance to double the hosts’ advantage after the visitors gave away possession cheaply but the clean-shaven striker sent an untidy effort straight into goalkeeper Bono’s palms in the 41st minute.

On the other end, Achraf Hakimi threatened when he overlapped down the right before firing hard and low at the nearpost when Bafana keeper Williams needed a second attempt to smother the ball and gather it.

The slender lead proved enough for Bafana to go to break.

When play resumed, Lepasa finally got it right four minutes later, finishing the ball into the net from a rebound after an initial block.

Lepasa celebrated the goal in fashion like a flying aeroplane in memory of former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker who died some days ago.

Morocco refused to surrender meekly as Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech arrowed the ball into the net after Bafana Bafana defence failed to stop the shot in the process unsighting keeper Williams.

Lepasa should have grabbed a brace but missed his attempted volley on the turn into the terraces with the goal in front of him.

If that was a terrible miss what followed was an absolute shame as Teboho Mokoena, all alone, fired over into the sky.

Bafana held on to the slender lead to top the group with seven points from four games, one point ahead of Morocco.

Starting line ups:

South Africa: Ronwen Williams, Thapelo Morena, Siyanda Xulu, Mvala, Innocent Maela, Tebogo Mokoena, Aubaas, Themba Zwane, Mayambela, Percy Tau, Zakhele Lepasa

Morocco: El Kajoui, Achraf Hakimi, Mazraoui, Aguerd, Saiss, Maleh, Louza, Hakim Ziyech, Aboukhlal, El Idrissi, En-Nesyri.

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