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Hosts South Africa Knocked Out By Mali On Penalties

posted 3 Feb 2013, 05:50 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 3 Feb 2013, 05:51 ]

African Cup of Nations hosts South Africa knocked out by Mali on penalties.

 DURBANSOUTH AFRICA (FEBRUARY 02, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Mali dashed home hopes at the African Nations Cup with a 3-1 penalty shootout win to send South Africa tumbling out of the tournament at the quarter-final stage on Saturday (February 02).

A 1-1 draw after extra time forced the match to penalties and the pressure proved too much for the hosts who missed three of their four spot kicks while Mali scored their first three.

Mali's shootout success sealed a strong comeback from last year's bronze medal winners after South Africa had dominated the early stages and taken a 31st minute lead.

Tokelo Rantie scored with a tap in at the back post after a cross from Thuso Phala in a bright start by Bafana Bafana, who played at a high tempo and won repeated midfield battles to the delight of the near 60,000 crowd at the Moses Mabhida Stadium. But whenSeydou Keita equalised 13 minutes into the second half, the hosts lost control and allowed the game to slip away.

"Today's game was a best game but unfortunately it is one of those things, we so disappointing we lost on penalties but next time we coming back," said a disappointedSouth Africa supporter Sduduzo Zulu.

Mali supporter, Joe hoped that football would help unite his country that is fighting Islamic insurgents.

"This game for the Mali people it means that people must unite must finish the war inMali. All the Malian people must unite, must be together and join behind their team their will make them proud," Joe said.

Mali will now play either pre-tournament favourites Ivory Coast or Nigeria, who play on Sunday (February 3) in Rustenburg. The semi-final is scheduled to take place in Durbanon Wednesday (February 6).