Bhele inspires Bafana
Bhele inspires Bafana

Posted in News on Jan 30, 2002.

Siyabonga Nomvete was the inspiration as South Africa reached the African Nations Cup quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Morocco on Wednesday.

The World Cup finalists, held to goalless draws in their first two matches, now play hosts Mali in the last eight in Kayes on Sunday after taking top place in group B.

In the group's other match, two goals in the last two minutes by substitute Isaac Boakye gave Ghana an amazing 2-1 victory over Burkina Faso a place in the quarter-finals where they will meet tournament favourites Nigeria.

On a day of high emotion all four teams in the group had a taste of the last eight at some point as the late goals produced a series of shifts in the qualification picture.

With 10 minutes remaining South Africa were leading 3-1 in Segou while Burkina Faso and Ghana were goalless in Mopti - scores that would have sent South Africa and Morocco through.

Amadou Toure then put Burkina Faso ahead, putting them in nominal second place in the process.

The goal, relayed immediately by phone to Segou, sparked a mass charge forward for the Moroccans, which was immediately called off when Boakye equalised for Ghana in the last minute.

With the game at 1-1 it was once again South Africa and Morocco set to go through, only for Boakye to hit the winner in injury time to push Ghana to second place and a place in the last eight.

South Africa, after two goalless draws, also had a substitute to thank for their victory as Siyabonga Nomvete set up the first two goals before scoring the third.

South Africa had to win to qualify for the next stage but looked dour and listless until coach Carlos Queiroz brought Nomvete on as a 32nd minute substitute for Delron Buckley.

The Italy-based left winger provided the first goal 10 minutes later with a dribbling run that saw him cut into the Moroccan defence before crossing for Benni McCarthy. His effort was saved by Morocco goalkeeper Driss Benzerki but Sibusiso Zuma followed up to bundle the ball in.

Three minutes after the interval Nomvete breezed past a static defence to lay on an easy tap-in for Thabo Mngomeni after a long ball from the back caught the Moroccans square.

A similar punt in the 51st minute saw McCarthy cut in from left before pulling in back for Nomvete to blast home from close range.

The goals fired the north Africans into life and after Abdeljilil Hadda missed a sitter they pulled one back in the 76th minute with a Rachid Benmahmoud penalty after Zuma brought down Adil Ramzi in the penalty area.

"I thank God, I'm very, very happy," said Boakye. "Our coach told us the South Africa score and said we had to do something about it, otherwise go back to Ghana."

Boakye, who plays in Ghana for Goldfields, came off the bench after 66 minutes and turned the game on its head. The match had been heading for another dull, error-ridden goalless draw until Burkina striker Toure curled a beautiful free kick over Ghana's defence with eight minutes left.

In the last minute Boakye latched onto a cross in the middle of the penalty area and blasted the ball home and in the second minute of injury time he again found himself unmarked in the box and fired a powerful strike into the roof of the net.

Ghana, who hold the record for the most appearances at the finals and most titles won along with Egypt, had not managed a goal in the tournament until Wednesday.

The last two quarterfinalists will be decided on Thursday when Egypt play Zambia and Senegal, who are already through, take on Tunisia.


Morocco: 22-Driss Benzerki; 3-Akram Roumani, 5-Abdelilah Fahmi, 6-Noureddine Naybet, 8-Faouzi El Brazi, 15-Youssef Safri, 18-Youssef Chippo (2-Rachid Benmahmoud 56), 10-Adil Ramzi, 11-Hicham Zerouali, 12-Nourdin Boukhari (9-Abdeljilil Hadda 53), 14-Salaheddine Bassir (20-Rachid Rokki 84)

South Africa: 1-Hans Vonk; 2-Mbulelo Mabizela, 3-Bradley Carnell, 13-Pierre Issa, 19-Aaron Mokoena, 21-Eric Tinkler, 8-Thabo Mngomeni, 10-Bennett Mnguni (12-Dillon Sheppard 70), 15-Sibusiso Zuma, 18-Delron Buckley (14-Siyabonga Nomvete 32), 17-Benni McCarthy (6-MacBeth Sibaya 81)

Referee: Gamal Al Ghandour (Egypt).

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