Bafana Bafana used Ronaldo's iconic celebration as a humorous gesture in a significant victory over Morocco in AFCON.
South Africa players trolled Morocco with a Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired celebration after securing a stunning 2-0 victory in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), propelling them into the quarter-finals.
The scene unfolded in the Ivorian coastal city of San-Pedro, where Teboho Mokoena catapulted his team forward with a masterful free-kick sealing a win that will be remembered not just for the skill on the pitch but for the post-goal theatrics that followed.
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South Africa upset Morocco, thanks to a penalty miss from Achraf Hakimi and a red card to Manchester United's Sofyan Amrabat.
In a cheeky nod to the 2022 World Cup where Morocco famously ousted Ronaldo's Portugal, Bafana Bafana players orchestrated a celebration that has since captured the imagination of football fans worldwide.
Mokoena, the architect of the goal, led his teammates to the flag post where they emulated Ronaldo's iconic celebration - a gesture resonating deeply with fans for its blend of humor and homage.
The celebration, described by Ronaldo's former club, Manchester United, as a self-deprecating jab at the star's meticulous self-care routine, involves the famous 'siu' move.
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Ronaldo's routine, punctuated by his signature run, jump, and the triumphant shout of 'siuuuu!' as he lands, has become a staple of football culture, symbolizing both the player's prowess and his larger-than-life persona.
In this context, however, it was more than a celebration; it was a playful tribute and a light-hearted jibe.
As Mokoena sprinted to the touchline, mimicking Ronaldo's routine with a dramatic closing of the eyes and a fold of the hands across the chest the gesture transcended the boundaries of the pitch sparking conversations and laughter far beyond the stadium's confines.
The match itself was a showcase of resilience and strategic brilliance from the South African side.
The deadlock was broken by Evidence Makgopa just before the hour mark placing immense pressure on the Moroccan team.
Morocco's hopes of leveling the playing field were dashed when Paris Saint-Germain's star Hakimi missed a crucial penalty, his shot ricocheting off the bar in a moment that encapsulated the team's growing despair.
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The closing minutes saw Morocco's woes deepen as Sofyan Amrabat received a red card, leaving the team both numerically and morally diminished.
It was in this charged atmosphere that Mokoena delivered the final blow, his free-kick not only securing the win but also setting the stage for the memorable celebration that followed.
The incident has sparked a flurry of activity on social media, with fans and pundits alike dissecting the layers of meaning behind the celebration.