Afcon 2013: it’s over for South Africa as Mali’s Eagles fly high

Afcon 2013: it’s over for South Africa as Mali’s Eagles fly high

South Africa, the host nation of the 29th Orange Africa Cup of Nations, will not play a further part in the tournament. Bafana Bafana were eliminated     by the Eagles of Mali in a penalty shootout by 3-1 on Saturday night, after the pulsating game went to extra-time at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Cheick Tidiane Diabaté, Adama Tamboura and Mahamane El Hadji Traoré scored Mali penalties, while Tshabalala scored for Bafana Bafana only to see teammates Furman and Majoro missing their spot kicks.

The hosts led 1-0 at half-time via the goal scored in the 31st minute by Anthony Rantie, who would later leave the field injured. Veteran captain Seydou Keita then equalised in the 50th minute to the take the game to an emotional finish in a stadium packed to capacity and dominated in the stands by yellow shirts of South African fans.

Now semi-finalists Mali wait for the winner of Nigeria-Ivory Coast game on Sunday afternoon.

In the other game played earlier on in Port-Elizabeth, four-time African champions Ghana booked their place in the semi-finals, once again, after beating giant killers Cape Verde by 2-0. The score of the game did not reflect the reality of the game as the Black Stars were lucky to come out unscathed thanks to the talent and vigilance of goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, who saved his team on many occasions.

The tournament debutants, who go back to Praia with their head held high, have completely dominated the game, but the lack of experience and composure upfront let them down. Spain-based Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, La Liga) once again saved his team by scoring two goals, one on penalty in the early part of the second half, and the other one deep into stoppage time.

Ghana will play the winner of Burkina Faso-Togo next week.


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