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Africa U23 Cup of Nations

U23 Afcon: Teboho Mokoena fires South Africa to victory over Ivory Coast

17:04 GMT 12/11/2019
South Africa U23
Amaglug-glug notched their first win in the tournament and remain unbeaten after two games

Teboho Mokoena’s late free-kick was the decider as South Africa edged Ivory Coast in a Group B match at Al-Salam Stadium on Tuesday.

After failing to score in their first match against Zambia on Saturday, South Africa bounced back to pick up three points and boost their chances of reaching the semi-finals.

Mokena struck 11 minutes from time directly from a free-kick earned from a foul on Luther Singh.

Having dominated their first game without key players, South Africa coach David Notoane threw into the fold a number of players who were not available for the first game.

The arrival of the experienced players appeared to have paid off for Amaglug-glug with Portugal-based Luther Singh and captain Tercious Malepe forcing saves from Ivory Coast goalkeeper Eliezer Tape inside the first three minutes.

But the Ivorians also surged forward with AS Eupen midfielder Jean Lazare Amani having his shot blocked nine minutes into the encounter.

A minute later, SuperSport midfielder Mokoena and his club mate Sipho Mbule slightly missed the target while Lyle Foster came close to scoring twice inside two minutes.

The West Africans came back to push South Africa through Aboubacar Doumbia and Amani as the action swung from one end to the other before the break.

It became a disappointing exchange of scoring opportunities after the interval with Singh again a culprit for South Africa.

For Ivory Coast, it was Amani threatening again, having a shot saved by South Africa goalkeeper Darren Johnson on 57 minutes.

Kamohelo Mahlatsi could not beat Tape just after the hour mark as the game remained goalless.

At the other hand, Johnson was alert to deny Hamed Junior Traore.

Amaglug-glug managed to hold on to victory as Ivory Coast did not do much to press for an equaliser. 

South Africa will face Nigeria in their last group game while Ivory Coast play Zambia.