South Africa shock Morocco after Hakimi penalty miss, Mali through

Morocco's star right-back Achraf Hakimi has issued a heartfelt apology for missing the penalty

Morocco lost 2-0 to South Africa on Tuesday, becoming the latest powerhouse to be eliminated from a shock African Cup of Nations, while Mali also booked a place in the quarter-finals.

Evidence Makgopa and Teboho Mokoena scored for Bafana . Bafana in the second half, but Atlas Lions once again proved to be the underdog side with Achraf Hakimi missing a penalty.

Since becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar two years ago, Morocco has lost two of their 13 matches, both at the hands of South Africa.

The surprising last-16 result in the humid Ivorian coastal town of San Pedro came after Racine Shinayoko scored the winning goal as Mali defeated Burkina Faso 2-1 in Korrogo.

Morocco joins defending champions Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. Teams in the top 10 in Africa will return home early.

Hosts Ivory Coast and Mali take on each other in Bouake on Saturday, before South Africa takes on Cape Verde in Yamoussoukro.

The other quarter-final on Friday will see Victor Osimhen’s Nigeria take on Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo take on Guinea.

South Africa, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo are former champions, while the other four title contenders hope to conquer Africa for the first time.

Morocco had the advantage of defeating South Africa thanks to their World Cup heroics, but two factors pointed to a possible upset.

South Africa has won two and drawn two of the five games they have played against Morocco in the Nations Cup since 1998.

Although Morocco has been an African powerhouse for decades, they have failed to win the Nations Cup multiple times since their only victory 48 years ago.

Coach Walid Legulagi called the repeated failures the “curse of Africa” ​​and the former international full-back ensured South Africa calmly earned a well-deserved victory.

Makgopa came close to putting Bafana ahead in the 57th minute, and Morocco squandered a golden chance to equalize late on when Hakimi sent a penalty over the crossbar.

Manchester United midfielder Sofian Amrabat committed a foul on Mokoena, resulting in a VAR review and a straight red card as he was the last defender.

Mokoena, a set-piece specialist, takes a free kick past Yassin Bounou and into the net at the near post.

Sinayoko scores his third Nations Cup goal as Mali beat Burkina Faso to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2013.

Edmond Tapsoba’s early own goal gave Mali a great start to the Round of 16, with Shinayoko extending their lead to two points just after half-time.

Burkina Faso reduced the gap with a penalty from captain Bertrand Traore, but Burkina Faso once again put the ball into the net, but Issoufou Dayo was ruled offside.

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The victory was a welcome turnaround for Mali, who have been eliminated in the first round twice and in the round of 16 twice since finishing third in South Africa 11 years ago.

“It was a tough match against a good side. We had to work extra hard, but I am glad we eventually got the result,” said Sinayoko.

“We can celebrate this victory while keeping at the back of our minds that there is still a lot of work ahead.” The match in the northern Ivorian city kicked off in 36 degrees Celsius (97 Fahrenheit) heat and Mali needed only 133 seconds to score the second fastest goal in the tournament.

A strong header from Amadou Haidara’s cross hit the post, hit Tapsoba’s left foot, and went into the net, resulting in an own goal.

In front of Confederation of African Football (CAF) South African president Patrice Motsepe, the soccer barely excited the near-capacity crowd of 19,154 until the half-hour mark.

Shinayoko then fired a powerful shot from close range past goalkeeper Hervé Coffey, but it was saved.

Mali took a two-goal lead two minutes into the second half when Shinayoko shook off Tapsoba and beat Kofi with an angled shot.

However, Traore halved the lead in the 57th minute with his third penalty of the tournament when a cross from Boubacar Kouyate was deflected in the opposite direction by Mali goalkeeper Gigi Diarra.

Dayo, a long-time defender, thought he had equalized when he headed a free-kick past Diarra just before the end of normal time, but he was ruled offside.

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