Johannesburg - The SA Football Association (SAFA) has lauded the national soccer team after Bafana Bafana reached the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals for the first time in 11 years.
Bafana drew 2-2 against Morocco in Durban on Sunday to finish top of Group A, booking their place in the playoffs of the continental tournament for the first time since the 2002 showpiece in Mali.
“You have brought pride and honour to the nation and today you have written a piece of history for yourselves, families and friends," SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani said in a statement.
VIDEO: Bafana v Morocco, highlights
South Africa fought back twice to equalise against the Moroccans, with May Mahlangu and Siyabonga Sangweni finding the back of the net to ensure their progress in the competition.
"You deserve to walk tall. You showed the entire football world that you have the fighting spirit and that the adage ‘it is never over until the fat lady sings’ is a true expression of competitive soccer games."
Nematandani hoped the host team would go on to reach the final.
“We are confident that this achievement will now spur you to go all the way in this tournament.
"The entire country is behind you; their support and spirit will carry you all the way."
Bafana face the Group B runners-up, to be decided on Monday evening, in their quarter-final match at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.