Bafana Bafana sneak into round of 16

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The South Africans progress in the continental competition thanks to Mali’s victory over the Palancas Negras
Despite winning just one match in Group D of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals in Egypt, South Africa are through to the Round of 16.

After making it through as one of the best third-placed finishers with three points, the South Africans relied on other teams to reach the knockout stage.

In their group stage campaign, coach Stuart Baxter’s men managed to finish third because of a 1-0 win over Namibia. Since they lost to Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco, their chances to progress were decided late on Tuesday.

Just before the Tuesday fixtures, the 1996 African champions hoped Cameroon would beat Benin. However, the Indomitable Lions failed to secure the win as the final Group F encounter ended in a dull draw earlier in the day.

Then Baxter and his men looked at Mali to overcome Angola in the last match of Group E where a victory for the West Africans would mean Bafana can remain at their camp in Egypt.

After Mali dominated Angola, they were rewarded with a fine finish from a superb strike through Amadou Haidara in the 37th minute to hand them a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Upon their return from the tunnel, both sides probed for goals, but the Malians were solid at the back to secure the win, thus ending Angola’s hopes of overtaking Bafana Bafana.

South Africa will now take on Egypt in the Round of 16 at the Cairo International Stadium on Saturday.