Teboho Mokoena's stunner seals win

South Africa's Teboho Mokoena celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates .
South Africa's Teboho Mokoena celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates .
Image: REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

A brilliant free-kick from Teboho Mokoena sealed a 1-0 victory for South Africa over the Ivory Coast and kept them on course for a semifinal place at the 2019 Africa Under-23 Cup of Nations.

Mokoena blasted home a long-range set-piece to add to his gallery of spectacular goals and earn the side three precious points after it had looked as though it would be a frustrating evening with a number of missed chances.

Coach David Notoane's side move to four points from their two Group B matches and victory over Nigeria on Friday will ensure a place in the last four as the side hunts a top three finish at the tournament to earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A point or even a defeat may even be enough depending on results elsewhere.

Notoane pushed key midfielders Mokoena and Sipho Mbule, and forwards Lyle Foster and Luther Singh, straight into the action after their late arrival in the camp having missed the 0-0 draw with Zambia on Saturday.

Foster had three excellent chances in the opening half, first shooting wide of goal and then missing a Singh cross by inches when he seemed destined to head home.

And then came the moment of magic from Mokoena on 79 minutes. After Singh had been brought down 35-yards from goal, the SuperSport midfielder crashed a free-kick into the top-corner.

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