South Africa vs. Mali: Final score 1-1, Eagles through on penalties

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Another Africa Cup of Nations, another disappointment for South Africa. The hosts are out of the tournament after falling to Mali on penalties.

The hosts of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations will not be repeating their feat from 1996. South Africa have disappointed expectant fans yet again, going out of their continental championship in the quarterfinal round. They were the better side for much of the match, but Mali found one goal and were excellent in the penalty shootout, winning 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

South Africa was well on top in the opening period, and their ambitious play was rewarded with a goal just after the half-hour mark. A collision at the center of the park led to the ball bouncing free to Thuso Phela, who played down while one of his teammates was down. He slotted the ball across the face of goal for Tukelo Rantie, who scored to put South Africa ahead 1-0 heading into the break.

Seydou Keita, Mali's best-known star, surprisingly fired his team back into the match in the 58th minute. His goal was an excellent one, which required holding off multiple defenders after receiving a pass from Mamadou Samassa. He showed off his athleticism with his ability to both stay on the ball and shoot while being shoved, and his goal ultimately sent his team into extra time.

Unsurprisingly, both teams failed to score in extra time. Besides the two goals, the match was a rather uneventful one, and the game could have very easily ended 0-0. The biggest events outside of the two goals were injuries, of which South Africa suffered quite a few. Rantie, the goal-scorer, had to come off just before halftime. Bernard Parker came off injured in extra time, while Siyabonga Sangweni picked up an injury after all three subs had been used, while Tsepo Masilela took a shot to the mouth and had to change shirts after staining his with blood.

In the shootout, the hosts were abysmal. Siphwe Tshabalala got Bafana Bafana off to an excellent start with a well-placed shot to Soumbeïla Diakité's right, but that was the only penalty that his side made during the shootout. Dean Furman, May Mahlangu and Michael Majoro all missed their spot kicks, while Mali didn't miss once.

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