Hosts South Africa and Cape Verde out of AFCON
The dreams of hosts South Africa and the tiny Cape Verde Islands came to a shattering halt on Saturday when they were knocked out of the African Nations Cup by Mali and Ghana respectively in the quarter-finals.
Mali, seeking their first Nations Cup title, kept their hopes alive by beating South Africa 3-1 on penalties, after the match finished 1-1 at the end of extra time, while Ghana, aiming for a long-awaited fifth crown, beat Cape Verde 2-0.
South Africa tried to repeat their 1996 success when they were crowned champions on home soil but were eliminated after losing in a shootout in Durban. While Cape Verde, described by their coach Luico Antunes as "the best team in the competition", lost to two Mubarak Wakaso goals in Port Elizabeth.
Ghana will meet the winner of Sunday's clash between Togo and Burkina Faso in next Wednesday's semi-final in Nelspruit while Mali will play either tournament favourites Ivory Coast or Nigeria in the last four in Durban on the same night.
Story by Ghanafa.org/Reuters