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U-23 AFCON: South Africa end Ghana's Olympics dream after dramatic shootout

By Vincent Ashitey

South Africa beat the Black Meteors to end their dream of booking a ticket to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after winning on penalties.

The young Bafana Bafana edge past Ghana 6-5 on penalties after 2-2 scoreline in regulation time to win the third-place match at the Cairo International Stadium.

The result means Ghana's wait to qualify for their first Olympic Games since 2004 continues.

Ghana had the brightest of start in the opening 10 minutes but failed to make it could. However, the South Africans made them pay for being wasteful in front of goal.

South Africa into the lead in the 15th-minute courtesy after an own goal by Habib Mohammed. After the goal, the young Bafana Bafana got control of the game.

Kwame Baah came to Ghanaians rescue after Luther Singh has made his way two markers and shot from 25 yards.

South Africa nearly doubled their lead after breaching Ghana's defence but their striker missed the target as the first half ended 1-0 in favour of Bafana Bafana.

Ibrahim Tanko made two substitutions after half time bringing on Issah Abbas and Emmanuel Cudjoe for skipper Yaw Yeboah and defender Habib Mohammed respectively.

Five minutes into the second half, Evans Mensah drew the Black Meteors level will a powerful strike from outside the box which was his third goal of the tournament.

Kamohelo Mahlasti restored South Africa's lead in the 62nd minute just two minutes after coming on for Teboho Mokoena. Samuel Obeng equalised for Ghana five minutes to full time after Evans Mensah has outwitted his mark and squared the ball to him.

Emmanuel Cudjoe missed Ghana's final spot as South African won the third-place playoff which is also the automatic qualification slot for the Olympic Games.