Mahlangu and Sangweni guide Bafana though to the quarterfinals

South Africa kept alive home hopes at the African Nations Cup finals by twice coming from behind to draw with Morocco and sneak first place in Group A after a 2-2 draw in Durban.

It means that Morocco go out of the tournament, since Cape Verde’s 2-1 win over Angola gave them second place in the group behind Bafana Bafana.

There was a huge sigh of collective relief from the host nation when Siyabonga Sangweni swept home the ball with only four minutes left. Had South Africa not hauled back the score for a second successive time in the game they would have gone out of the tournament.

A grandstand finish came at the end of a tremendous tussle between two creative teams. South African goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune made vital saves while the home side dominated with their passing game and created more chances than in many of their recent matches. Morocco managed to set up several opportunities inside the first quarter-hour though, including the first goal.

Khune had to smother the first effort from Youssef Kaddioui, but he was culpable for the 10th minute goal from Issam El Aduoa, which came from a corner by Abdelaziz Barrada. The promising midfielder bent the ball onto Khune, who tried a feeble punch but was beaten by El Aduoa to the ball, while Bafana skipper Bongani Khumalo made little effort to try and get his head on

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