Thembinkosi Lorch scored on 85 minutes to give South Africa a stunning 1-0 victory over Africa Cup of Nations hosts Egypt after a pulsating last-16 clash in Cairo Saturday.
After three woeful group performances, South Africa were rank outsiders against the record seven-time African champions.
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A seesaw struggle was settled when a swift counterattack allowed Lebo Mothiba to send Lorch through and score.
South Africa will face arch-rivals Nigeria, who eliminated holders Cameroon earlier Saturday, in the quarter-finals.