South Africa lead the group with 7 points as Ghana hope to defeat Zimbabwe to slash the points difference.
The two teams made few incursions in the early minutes of the game. Because a draw is big deal for Bafana Bafana of South Africa, coach Hugo Broos opted to stay behind a little bit and hit Ethiopia on an unanticipated break. He tightened the defence and midfield but was flexible in attack.
The Walias of Ethiopia opened up play, going after balls while ensuring they switch passes to arrive at the final third. In the 20th minutes, Ethiopia almost got the early lead but the last attempt at goal was swiftly intervened by Mokoena.
At the half hour mark, both sides had put in monumental energy and effort but were denied goal by the two goalkeepers.
In the 36th minutes, Abubeker Nasir after beating the offside line to make a one on one with goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, had his tap blocked from making way into the empty net. That invited pressure on Bafana Bafana as the Walias maintained the momentum, only to come with same chance in the 28th minutes, and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams came to the rescue of South Africa.
With no goal to either side, Bafana Bafana became conscious of what could happen on the back of any error, and deployed men at the back while trying to possess the ball as well.
As the first half was about to wrap up, Bafana Bafana managed to earn free kick at the edge of the box, which was expertly delivered by Teboho Mokoena. His brilliant kick slipped out of the hands of goalkeeper Fasil Gabremicheal to enter the net. Bafana Bafana of South Africa had to end the first with a 1 - 0 advantage.
South Africa bounced back as an energized side to probe for the second goal. The Walias of Ethiopia tried to make amends through midfielder Surajel Dagnachew in the 54th minute but his shot missed the post by inches.Bafana Bafana were lucky to have escaped a penalty call after the ball hit the hand of Xulu Siyanda in the box, in 56th minutes.
The Walias of Ethiopia pulled the equalizer in the 66th minute through sumptuous free kick. Kutumela Thabiso of South Africa hacked down Surajel Dagnachew at the edge of the box for free kick, which was cleverly slotted into the net by skipper Gerenah Yebede to make it 1 - 1.
Bafana Bafana of South Africa restored their lead in the 72nd minutes following a throw-in, which was timely connected by Mothobi Mvala to beat goalkeeper Fasil Gabreilmicheal.
In the 80th minutes, Makgopa Evidence had his header crisps the cross bar but Ethiopia managed to escape the critical situation. His resilience paid off in extra time when lopped the ball over Fasil Gabremicheal to get the third goal for South Africa.
The game ended 3 - 1 for Soy
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