Mon, Nov 17, 2014 - Page 19 News List

S Africa honor Meyiwa with Cup of Nations berth

AFP, DURBAN, South Africa

A supporter cheers with a portrait of murdered South Africa captain and goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa at Bafana Bafana’s Africa Cup of Nations 2015 qualifier against Sudan at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

South Africa qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday thanks to a 2-1 win over Sudan, a victory they dedicated to former captain Senzo Meyiwa, who was murdered three weeks ago.

The 27-year-old goalkeeper and captain was gunned down by an intruder at the home of his pop singer girlfriend south of Johannesburg on Oct. 26.

After Saturday’s game, new goalkeeper Darren Keet dedicated the win to Meyiwa, paying tribute to his friend by sporting a moving, handwritten quote from the Bible on his gloves.

“The verse on there [the gloves] was John 15:17, where it says: ‘There’s no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.’ I’m emotional of course, he was a great friend of mine,” the 25-year-old Keet said.

“I just want to pay tribute and honor him. I never got the chance to go to the grave but I hope he’s watching us from above and knows that we are thinking about him,” Keet added. “I just wish he was here with us, that’s all I can say, that’s what makes it emotional, is that he is not here with us. We want him here as a team, but unfortunately his time has gone and we have to move on and his memory will stay strong.”

Saturday’s qualifier took place in Meyiwa’s hometown and victory allowed Group A leaders South Africa to join Algeria, Cape Verde, Tunisia, Gabon, Zambia, Cameroon and Burkina Faso in the finals.

Equatorial Guinea, named as tournament hosts in place of Morocco on Friday, qualify automatically for next year’s Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 event.

The Cup was moved to Equatorial Guinea after Morocco was stripped of the right to hold it after insisting on the continental showcase being postponed due to the Ebola crisis.

In other games on Saturday, Nigeria blanked Congo Brazzaville 2-0, with Malawi beating Mali by the same scoreline, Cape Verde outplaying Niger 3-1, Guinea routing Togo 4-1 and Angola playing out a scoreless draw with Gabon.

The day’s five other games all produced 1-0 scorelines, with Burkina Faso edging Lesotho, Cameroon beating the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda overcoming Ghana, Zambia defeating Mozambique and Senegal outclassing Egypt.

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