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U23 AFCON qualifiers: Congo hold South Africa in South Africa

A determined Congo Brazzaville side has held hosts South Africa 1-1 in the first leg of the final phase of the U23 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Morocco 2023 qualifiers. on Thursday.

After several missed chances by the two teams, Love Bissila Mabiala gave the Congo team the lead after 43 minutes with a well-timed header at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.

But coach David Notoane’s team returned charged after recess and dominated play as they pushed forward in search of goals.

After 60 minutes coach Notoane’s introduction of Mduduzi Shabalala paid dividends as the Kaizer Chief youngster changed the course of the match.

With a lot of confidence, Shabalala delivered a cross which Thapelo Maseko made no mistake scoring to make it 1-1. The South African team continued to dominate play but found a tight defending Congo Brazzaville side.

“We must make sure that we improve on the finishing because we are creating but not taking the chances,” said South Africa’s coach Notoane after the encounter.

But Congo’s coach Cyrille Pepin Donga also made it clear that they have to be at their best in the return leg. “We cannot take any think for granted, but prepare well for the return leg,” said Donga.

The draw leaves South Africa with a tough task when they play the return leg on March 27th at the Stade Alphonse Massemba-Débat in Brazzaville Stadium in Brazzaville.

Action continues on Friday with Algeria hosting Ghana, while Cameroon also play away to Gabon in the first leg

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