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South Africa 1 - 0 Egypt

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Published on Mar 27, 2011

هدق جنوب أفيقيا في مصر

Johannesburg was buzzing ahead of tonight's game at Ellis Park Stadium, as Bafana Bafana faced their toughest test yet in their attempt to qualify for the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, hosting reigning continental champions Egypt.

The North Africans were bottom of Group G before this game following a stuttering start to their qualifying campaign, but their pedigree as seven-time winners of the AFCON -- including the last three tournaments in 2006, 2008 and 2010, was visible in the early stages of the game, taking advantage of an early free kick to force Bafana 'keeper Itumeleng Khune into a fine save.

South Africa soon began to dominate the possession and create chances in attack, with defender Morgan Gould's header and a shot from striker Katlego Mphela making the home side's intentions known early on, though Egypt goalkeeper El-Hadary still has not been asked to make a save.

Bafana captain Steven Pienaar worked hard in midfield and caused some problems for the Pharaohs, but in the final third South Africa struggled to put the finishing touches on creative team movements.

In the 32nd minute Egypt had their best chance thus far, as a corner from Fathi on the left found Fathalla's head, but his powerful attempt went just over the bar.

The main battle was taking place in the midfield, and neither goalkeeper saw too much of the ball. The half time break arrived with the score goalless, and the Vuvuzela's roaring around Ellis Park.

Egypt started the second half off brightly, with a clever counter attack, but Bafana 'keeper Khune was focused and quickly put a stop to a promising attack. Egypt put on some good pressure, but the Bafana defence stood tall and stopped a flurry of attacks from the visitors.

On the hour mark Egypt put on Angola 2010 top scorer Mohamed Nagy 'Gedo' in an effort to get something out of the match, while South Africa brought on Tlou Segolela to give some pace to their attack.

As time rolled on two fine chances presented themselves for South Africa, but Al-Hadari made two vital interceptions to keep them at bay as first Segolela and then Mphela threatened to score.

With fifteen minutes to go Egypt made a few final gambles, putting on star midfielder Mohamed Aboutreika, and the effect was almost immediate, but his cross was put wide in a dangerous position, before Mohamed Zidan made his entrance into the game.

A last bunch of Bafana substitutes made a late appearance, and despite some good possession and pressure from the home side, the strong Egyptian defence held strong.

Egypt was surprised in the third minute of injury time, as a fantastic through ball found Mphela outrunning Wael Gomma to finish in fine style past El-Hadary. The goal was scored a few seconds before the final whistle and the stadium erupted with joy.

This result means that South Africa stay top of the group and register seven points, while Egypt are stuck at the bottom of the table on a single point.

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