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Egypt 0-1 South Africa: Lorch nets late on to oust AFCON hosts

Daniel Orme in Editorial, General Soccer News 6 Jul 2019

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Africa Cup of Nations hosts Egypt were eliminated from the tournament as a stubborn South Africa secured a late 1-0 victory in Cairo on Saturday evening.

The Pharaohs really struggled to create any real momentum, withy South Africa putting in a great defensive showing. They did create some chances though and scored their opener late on as Thembinkosi Lorch scored coolly with a composed finish to book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Lack of creativity from Egypt

Egypt could have seized the lead extremely early on but Mo Salah lashed his shot wide as the ball fell to him in the penalty area. Javier Aguirre’s side were dominant throughout the opening stages but were severely lacking in any end product.

They were nearly made to pay for that as Egypt stopper Ahmed El Shenawy had the best drawn out of him by a fantastic free-kick from Percy Tau. He then had to stretch every sinew to tip over a deep cross from South Africa.

Pharaohs waste wonderful opportunity

The Pharaohs should have opened the scoring from a fantastic counter-attack as Salah teed up Trezeguet but the latter could only put a weak shot straight at Ronwen Williams.

Thembinkosi Lorch then did similar for South Africa as he combined well with Tau, only to fire an effort well wide of goal. Kamohelo Mokotjo then also put a low effort marginally wide as South Africa begun to get a firm foothold in the game.

Similar pattern

Just like in the first-half though, Egypt enjoyed the majority of the opportunities after the break and once again Trezeguet was guilty of spurning a wonderful chance for the opener. He was played through by a stunning ball from Salah but his shot was straight into the palms of Williams.

South Africa did create a chance though midway through the second-half as Thulani Hlatshwayo found plenty of room for a free header but could only nod his effort just wide.

Lorch nets late on

The Egyptian capital was then stunned into silence as South Africa launched a wicked counter-attack. Tau rolled the ball into Lorch one-on-one with the keeper and he stayed composed to finish coolly into the bottom corner to claim the lead.

Lars Veldwijk could have polished the hosts off in the final moments as he was introduced from the bench but could not beat the goalkeeper. It mattered not though as only one goal was enough to see South Africa book their place in the last eight.

Final Thoughts

The hosts really will be distraught that they were not able to progress against South Africa. They really struggled on the day and were severely lacking in any real creativity or attacking threat – a concept slightly unbelievable considering the presence of Mo Salah. However, South Africa have to be praised. They stifled Egypt and will reflect on a hugely prominent, historic and potentially deserved victory. They now take their place in the quarter-finals of the African Cup of Nations.

Match Report

Egypt: El-Shenawy (6); Ashraf (6), Hegazy (6), Alaa Edin (6), Elmohamady (6); Elneny (6) (Soliman (N/A), 84′), El Said Hamed (5) (Warda (5), 64′); Hassan (6), El Said (5), Salah (5); Mohsen (5) (Ali Kamel (5), 46′).

South Africa: Williams (6); Hlanti (7), Vilakazi (6), Hlatshwayo (7), Mkhize (7); Zungu (7), Mokotjo (6), Furman (7) (Kekana (N/A), 90+2′); Lorch (7) (Veldwijk (N/A), 90+3′), Mothiba (6), Tau (7).

Goals: Lorch (85′)

Referee: Eric Arnaud Otogo-Castane

Yellow Cards: Hlanti (44′), Ashraf (68′), Zungu (79′), Hlatshwayo (90+4′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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