Egypt's Talisman Mo Salah cries after elimination
  • AFCON 2019 (Round of 16)
  • Egypt 0-1 South Africa

South Africa became the fourth country to progress to the quarterfinals of the 2019 AFCON finals following a stunning 1-0 win over hosts Egypt before 75,000 fans at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday night.

Christopher Lorch Thembinkosi was the hero with the late match-winner past goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy in the 84th minute.

Lorch finished into the back of the net after a well-squared ball from Lebo Mothiba following a text book move that also involved Percy Tau.

Before the goal, the game seemed destined for a stalemate as both sides created half chances.

As early as the third minute, the hosts through Marwan threatened. The forward shot from 30 yards and goalkeeper Williams Ronwen collected with ease.

A minute later, Tau cut-in from the far wide on the right and shot wide of goal.

The end to end affair continued in the fifth minute when Mo Salah had a shot deflected for a fruitless corner kick.

On the quarter hour mark, Tau had a rocket shot, saved by goalie Mohamed Elshenawy.

Two minutes to come, the diligent Dean Furman blocked Hamed Tarek’s effort.

Egypt’s goalie Elshenawy perfected a finger-tip save to deny Tau from a direct free-kick on 21 minutes.

Against the run of play, a quick counter-attack found Salah who released Marwan inside the goal area. The lanky forward shot straight at the goalkeeper.

On 26 minutes, Tarek Hamed was denied inside the goal area by the Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshawayo.

Lorch shot wide from 20 yards on the half-hour mark before Kamohelo Mokotjo narrowly missed target for the dominant and confident South African side after 35 minutes.

Three minutes later, South Africa continued with the raids. Lorch was slower as goalie Elshenawy cleared the line. The rebound taken by Tau was deflected for a corner.

Towards the end of the opening stanza, Sandile S’fiso Hlanti got yellow carded for a foul on Mo Salah.

When the second half returned, Egypt called for the first change. Walid Said Ebeid came on for Marwan Mohsen.

Five minutes into the half, Arsenal midfielder Muhammed El Neny curled the ball over from 30 yards.

Egypt’s best chance in the game fell to Ibrahim Hassan who was set up by Salah after a quick counter-attack in the 58th minute.

There was a booking for Ayman Ashraf Elsayed of Egypt for malicious tackle.

The defining moment of the game arrived six minutes to the end of the game when Mothiba set up Lorch who expertly finished for the stunner.

Christopher Lorch Thembinkosi celebrates with Lebo Mothiba

There was dead silence in the stands as the hosts conceded their first and most painful goal in the tournament.

The Bafana Bafana technical bench made two changes in the four added minutes.

Furman was rested for Hlompho Alpenus Kekana and the goal hero Lorch’s place was taken by Lars Veldwijk.

Veldwijk was denied the opportunity to kill off the game in the closing stages of the game with a blocked shot towards goal.

The final whistle from the Gabonese referee Eric Arnaud Otogo Castane communicated a contrast.

South African players celebrated wildly and so were a handful of their fans in the stands.

All the Egyptian players collapsed on the ground in shock, many, including Salah shed tears.

Mo Salah shed tears after the embarrassing loss to South Africa

The silence in the fully packed stands continued as many fans covered up their faces.

It was a shock, a stunner that will leave a mark for the rest of the tournament.

South Africa joins the three other successful teams as Benin, Senegal and Nigeria to the quarterfinals.

Team Line Ups:

Egypt XI: Mohamed El Shenawy (GK), Ahmed El Mohamady (C), Ahmed Hegazi, Mahmoud Alaa Ayman Ashraf, Tarek Hamed, Mohamed El Neny, Abdallah El Said, Mohamed Salah, Marwan Mohsen, Mahmoud Trezeguet

Subs: Ahmed Naser Mahmoud Maowad El-Shenawi (G.K), Baher Moursi, Omar Gaber, Aly Mohamed, Walid Said Ebeid, Ahmed Aymen Mohamed Mansour, Ahmed Gharib, Mahmoud Hamdy Mohamed Attia, Ahmed Hassan Mohamed Abdelmonem Mohamed Mahgoub, Nabil Aly, Amr Medhat Mohsen Warda, Mahmoud Abdelrehim Abdelrehim

Head Coach: Javier Onaindia Aguirre (Spain)

South Africa XI: Williams Ronwen Hayden (GK) Thamsanqa Mkhize, Sfiso Hlanti,  Buhle Mkhwanaz,i Thulani Hlatshwayo (C), Dean Furman, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Bongani Zungu, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau, Lebogang Mothiba

Subs: Darren Keet (G.K), Sakhile Innocent Frances Maela, Daniel Antonio Cardoso, Ramahlwe Mphahlele, Lebohang Kgosana Maboe, Thulani Caleb Serero, Themba Zwane, Samuel Tiyani Mabunda, Bruce Hlamulo Bvuma, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Hlompho Alpenus Kekana, Lars Veldwijk

Head coach: Stuart Baxter (UK)

Match Officials

  • Center Referee: Eric Arnaud Otogo Castane (Gabon)
  • Assistant Referee 1: Issa Yaya (Chad)
  • Assistant Referee 2: Lionel Andrianantenaina (Madagascar)
  • Fourth Official: Alioum Alioum (Cameroon)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think