Percy Tau

Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Field set for African Cup of Nations as last five teams qualify

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South Africa became the last team to qualify for the African Cup of Nations as it ended Libya’s hopes with a 2-1 win in Tunisia.

Bafana Bafana took the 24th spot at an expanded African Cup in Egypt in June and July, the first time the continental championship will be increased from 16 to 24 teams.

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South Africa was one of five teams to leave it to Sunday, the last day of qualifying, to book its place. Benin, Zimbabwe, Congo and Tanzania also made it to complete the 2019 African Cup lineup.

Striker Percy Tau was South Africa’s hero with both goals as the game against Libya came alive in a dramatic 20-minute spell after halftime.

Tau put South Africa ahead in the 49th minute with a powerful left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty area. Ahmad Benali equalized with a penalty in the 65th after South Africa goalkeeper Darren Keet kicked a Libyan player in the face as he went up to catch the ball.

Tau re-established South Africa’s lead just three minutes later with a right-footed goal this time.

South Africa needed just a draw to qualify. Libya had to win.

Transfer rumor roundup: Japan, South Africa strikers to Premier League

Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
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Percy Tau’s name isn’t yet widely known outside of South Africa, what with Bafana Bafana absent from the World Cup.

But the 24-year-old Mamelodi Sundowns winger may soon get to test his skills on a much bigger stage.

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Tau, who has five goals in 12 caps, will reportedly join Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League if a medical goes well, with Sky Sports saying it’ll will be the biggest transfer fee yet for a South African Premier League player.


Yoshinori Muto could be bringing his 25 caps to the Premier League.

The 26-year-old striker made just one appearance at the World Cup, but has had a nice run with Mainz since joining from FC Tokyo. He’s bagged 23 goals in 71 appearances.

Bild report says there have been no formal offers for Muto, but that Newcastle United and West Ham are interested in the striker. Newcastle badly needs a striker, but West Ham has been spending money and Magpies owner Mike Ashley hasn’t green lit much in recent seasons.