The game started with so much expectations, but Libya had a tough time
South Africa’s ‘lion’ Percy Tau scored a brilliant brace to book Bafana Bafana’s place at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals after a nervous 2-1 victory over Libya at a packed Stade Taïeb Mhiri in neutral Sfax, Tunisia on Sunday.
Bafana needed just a draw to seal their passage but will be delighted with a win in what was a hostile atmosphere with bottles raining onto the pitch in the second half as the Libyan fans sought to unsettle the South Africans.
Tau won the day with his brace, taking his goals tally in a national team jersey to nine, with seven in his last 10 caps, cementing his status as the key attacking weapon in the national team.
South Africa are the last of the 24 teams to qualify for the expanded Cup of Nations, with the finals to be held in Egypt from June 21-July 19, and qualify for the second time in three tournaments after missing out in Gabon in 2017.
Libya put the visitors under intense pressure early on in front of a packed crowd, who were roared on by the stadium announcer while the action continued on the pitch, creating a feverish din around the stadium.
The teams went into the break all square, but came out with more purpose in the second period and after Mokotjo had won possession, on the edge of the box, Tau blasted the ball into the corner of the net on 50 minutes.
Libya were awarded a penalty on 64 minutes when Keet left a boot high on substitute Saltou as he went to collect a ball into the box and Benali converted from the spot.
But Tau provided another excellent finish from a short-corner as South Africa worked space in the box expertly and the Belgium-based forward picked his spot into the far corner.