Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Day 9 Scores and Results Summary
On Sunday, Group A at the Africa Cup of Nations did not disappoint.
With all four teams still capable of qualifying and both games being played at the same time, the stage was set for a wild finish. And you better believe it was a wild finish.
Emlyn Begley of BBC Sport perfectly summed up Sunday's matches, namely a breathless final 10 minutes of action:
That is probably the most incredible 10 minutes of tournament football I have ever seen. South Africa and Cape Verde qualify, Morocco and Angola go out.
South Africa were always going through with results the way they were but with 10 minutes to go it was Angola joining them, with nine minutes it was Cape Verde, with eight minutes it was Morocco and in the final minute it was Cape Verde again.
Let's take a look back at each match.
South Africa and Morocco Draw, 2-2
Morocco was so close to advancing in this tournament. Instead, late goals by South Africa and Cape Verde would do the country in.
Morocco wasted little time getting on the board, as Issam El Adoua would give his side a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes into the contest, heading home the day's first goal.
Morocco played like a team possessed early on and threatened several times in the opening half, though South Africa would keep it to a one-goal deficit before the half. Bafana Bafana was lucky to end the half down just one.
But South Africa would pick up its play and eventually equalize in the second half, as May Mahlangu would send a curling shot into the top corner.
At this moment, Morocco was in danger of being eliminated as Angola held a 1-0 lead over Cape Verde. But it would only get crazier from there.
In the 82nd minute, Morocco would take the lead (and the top qualifying spot) off of Abdelilah Hafidi's go-ahead goal.
But wait, the plot thickened one last time.
Just four minutes later, South Africa would secure the tie it needed to top the group, as Tokelo Rantie would curl home the game-tying goal. At this point, however, Morocco was still in the driver's seat as Angola and Cape Verde were tied.
But a tie wouldn't be enough on this day, as Cape Verde would score a late goal, and Morocco's 2-2 draw wouldn't be enough to see it advance out of Group A. Had the team managed to hold on to either lead it held in this game, it would have been a different story.
Cape Verde wins, 2-1
Cape Verde had never qualified for a major tournament in its history before this year. Now, the small country will advance to the knockout phase and provided one of the top moments in the tournament after beating Angola, 2-1.
Heldon would fire home the winning goal in the 90th minute, ending a dramatic 10 minutes of Group B play that saw enough ups and downs to last an entire round.
But Cape Verde would have to fight to get this result. It was Angola that would strike first—its first goal of the tournament, for what it's worth—as an Amaro cross would deflect off of Cape Verde's Neves and find its way into the net in the 36th minute.
Even though Angola's only goal of the tournament was actually a Cape Verde own goal, Angola took the lead and suddenly—and inexplicably—had a shot to advance. Manucho would nearly give Angola a 2-0 lead early in the second half, but his shot would hit the woodwork.
But Cape Verde would prove its will to win was larger than the small country it derived from. The country would also save its best for last. Varela would head home the equalizing goal in the 81st minute before Heldon would become a national hero and send his team to the next stage with the game-winning goal.
That goal would also send Morocco home and end a wild and crazy day of Group A action.
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