AFCON 2023: Tunisia sent packing as South Africa secures Round of 16 spot


In a dramatic turn of events at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), South Africa secured a spot in the Round of 16 after a goalless draw with Tunisia, who, disappointingly, finished at the bottom of Group E with just two points were knocked out.

South Africa’s path to the knockout stages became evident after a commanding 4-0 victory over Namibia in their second match, positioning them favorably to advance.

Even a draw against Tunisia would have sufficed, provided that group leaders Mali did not suffer defeat to Namibia.

Tunisia, reeling from a shocking 1-0 loss to Namibia on matchday one and a 1-1 draw with Mali, knew that only a win would save them from elimination.

The encounter, however, witnessed a bewilderingly passive Tunisia, with little urgency displayed, especially in the first half.

South Africa, although not overly threatening, appeared more likely to break the deadlock. Mothobi Mvala and Thapelo Morena had the best chances before halftime, narrowly missing the target with a header and long-distance volley, respectively.

As the second half unfolded, Tunisia’s desperation to avoid an early exit intensified, but their efforts remained lackluster.

South Africa, recognizing the vulnerability in their opponent’s defense, nearly capitalized on the open spaces left at the back. Sphephelo Sithole and Percy Tau had close opportunities, but the breakthrough remained elusive.

Ultimately, the whistle blew, sealing Tunisia’s fate and marking their departure from the tournament.

South Africa, under the guidance of Broos, celebrated their progression to the Round of 16. T

he 2004 AFCON champions, Tunisia, exit the group stage for the first time since 2013, while South Africa remains optimistic about their journey, aiming to recapture the glory they experienced in 1996, when they were crowned AFCON champions.

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