By Emmanuel Ebimoh
The scenes at the Cairo International stadium yesterday would never have been anticipated by the 70,000 Egyptian fans in the stadium. By the end of 90 minutes in the match between Egypt and South Africa, many Egyptians still felt like it was a dream as they witnessed their home team convincingly knocked out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations. For the South African team, it was undoubtedly their best performance so far in the tournament and they showed that they were more than ready to turn the tides against the host.
Thembinkosi Lorch scored on the 85th minutes after a brilliant counter-attack to give South Africa a stunning 1-0 victory over the Egypt in a pulsating round of 16 clash in Cairo on Saturday. Bafana Bafana started the game brightly with more grit and passion as they created a couple of chances in the first half hour of the game. Mohammed Salah, Egypt’s prominent star player, was kept quiet for most part of the game by the excellent Buhle Mkhwanazi in left back for South Africa. At some point there were noticeable signs of frustration in the Egyptian’s play as he found it difficult to bring his dazzling EPL form into the game.
By the 86th minutes the Cairo International stadium had gone quiet after three quick South African passes split Egypt’s defence open and Thembinkosi Lorch was able to fire into the net for the only goal that seals the fate of the Pharaohs of Egypt. It was a well-deserved win for South Africa as they were by far the better team.
Elsewhere in Alexandria, Egypt, Super Eagles of Nigeria flew higher above the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. In a 5-goal thriller that saw Alex Iwobi score his first goal in the tournament, the Super Eagles were determined to put on a better show after their disappointing loss to Madagascar in the group stage. A brace from Odion Ighalo and a cool finish from Alex Iwobi gave Nigeria a 3-2 victory to set up a quarter final clash against Bafana-Bafana of South Africa next Wednesday.
In the other round of 16 encounter today, The Barea of Madagascar will face The Leopards of DR Congo, while The Desert Warrior of Algeria will slug it out against Syli National of Guinea.
Stay tuned with 9News Nigeria as we bring you every breaking report from Egypt in the ongoing AFCON competition, plus exclusive preview and post-match analysis of every game.