Bafana Bafana through to Afcon Last 16, send Tunisia packing

Bafana Bafana’s stay in Ivory Coast will be extended after advancing to the knockout stages of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Wednesday night.

South Africa held Tunisia to a frustrating 0-0 stalemate draw during their final Group E encounter at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.

Bafana finished the group as the runners-up with four points behind Mali, while Namibia are in pole position of securing qualification as one of the third best teams.

SA coach Hugo Broos decided to name an unchanged team that started against the Namibians in their impressive 4-0 victory, which saw an all Mamelodi Sundowns defence.

The encounter was wholly an uninspiring game of football with too little goal scoring opportunities created by both teams in the first and second halves.

The closest Bafana got to scoring was late in the game when hardworking striker Evidence Makgopa saw his headed effort from a corner kick being saved by Tunisian goalkeeper Bechir Ben Said.

Midfielder Teboho Mokoena also tried to test Ben Said with his trademark shot from range, but his strike went a whisker off the post.

Despite the few chances created and Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams not having much to do, it was a nervy finish for the South Africans as Tunisia committed more numbers in the oppositions’ half, but it was not meant to be as they crashed out of the competition.

Tunisia is rock bottom on the log table with one point.

Bafana will find out their round of 16 opponents by the end of the night and will face Group F winners, which will either be Morocco, DR Congo, Zambia or Tanzania – who will be playing their final round of group fixtures at 10pm (local time).

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