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Another AFCON shock! PSG’s Achraf Hakimi misses vital penalty and Man Utd star Sofyan Amrabat sees red as South Africa stun World Cup semi-finalists in thrilling last-16 clash

AFCON

Achraf Hakimi missed a penalty and Sofyan Amrabat was sent off as South Africa marched into the quarter-finals of AFCON at Morocco’s expense.

After a first-half of few incidents, the highlight of which was Noussair Mazraoui smashing in a well-hit drive from outside the box, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside, the game showed signs of life early in the second half when Azzedine Ounahi volleyed just over the bar from 12 yards out for Morocco. But against the run of play, Evidence Makgopa beat the offside trap to slot under goalkeeper Bono in the 57th minute give South Africa a shock lead.

AFCON

Pre-tournament favourites Morocco, who sit 12th in the FIFA world rankings, looked to have been handed a lifeline when Ayoub El Kaabi’s close range shot hit Mothobi Mvala’s arm, but Hakimi’s penalty hit the bar and went over five minutes from time. To make matters worse, Amrabat received a straight red for a foul on Mokoena in the 91st minute. Then, the counter-attacking South Africa, who are 56 places below their rivals, made it 2-0 in second-half stoppage time thanks to Teboho Mokoena’s stunning 25-yard free-kick as they secured a famous victory.

Teboho Mokoena: While South Africa’s defence put in a superb rearguard effort and Makgopa scored the opener, Mokoena was the one who got Amrabat sent off thanks to his pace and driving run and then produced a moment of magic with a delightful free-kick to put the icing on the cake.

AFCON

THE BIG LOSER

Achraf Hakimi: Although Manchester United loanee Amrabat was sent off for a clumsy challenge late on, Paris Saint-Germain star Hakimi missed a glorious opportunity to level proceedings. His penalty was poor and ultimately cost his team a way back into the game.

WHAT COMES NEXT?

Following their victory, South Africa will next take on Cape Verde, who edged Mauritania 1-0 in the last 16 of the competition, in the quarter-finals in Yamoussoukro on February 3. The winner will face either Angola or Nigeria in the last four.