Bafana Bafana stunned hosts Egypt 1-0 in the last 16 of the AFCON2019 tournament at a packed Cairo International Stadium to storm into the last 8 of the tournament.
A breakaway 85th minute goal by Thembinkosi Lorch silenced the more than 80 000 capacity crowd at the intimidating home of Egyptian football.
It was a goal which involved a combination of Bongani Zungu who threaded a pass to Lebo Mothiba and the gangling striker laid a delicate through pass to the on-rushing Lorch, who planted a well weighed shot into the back of the net.
Bafana Bafana who had been written off by most of the locals were full value of the lead which they hang on to until the final whistle. And when the Gabonese referee blew for full time, the Bafana Bafana contingent, made up of players and support staff ran onto the pitch to congratulate each other.
South Africa will now meet Nigeria in the last 8 on 10 July at the same venue at 21h00 SA time with Stuart Baxter who has had the better of Nigeria in recent times, fired up for this one.
South Africa showed their intent as soon as the 15th minute when hard running Percy Tau fired a stinging shot which Elshenawy in goals for Egypt did well to tip for a corner.
Tau was in the thick of action again when his free kick again forced the busy Egyptian goalkeeper into action.
South Africa were looking the more probable side to break the deadlock and a brave block by Ayman Ashraf foiled Lorch.
Mokotjo then unleashed a sizzling low, long-range shot that flew past Elshenawy but finished just off target as South Africa continued to search for the goal.
The frustration of Egypt, who scored all five group goals before half-time, was mirrored in the angry reaction of Salah when a free-kick was awarded against him for roughing up Sfiso Hlanti.
Mexico-born Egypt coach Javier Aguirre altered his largely ineffective attack at half-time, bringing in veteran Ahmed Ali for Mohsen.
‘Trezeguet’ squandered a great chance just before the hour, tamely shooting straight at goalkeeper Ronwen Williams after a superb defence-splitting pass from Salah. Credit though should go to Williams who had a superb evening.
After Lorch’s goal, Egypt poured forward looking for the elusive equaliser but in doing so could have been punished further after leaving holes at the back but Tau and Lars Veldwijk spurned their efforts.