HOUSTON - South Africa assured themselves a trip to the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinals after tying Guatemala 1-1 Wednesday night at Reliant Stadium in Houston before a 45,000 plus crowd.
Controlling possession of the ball for the majority of the contest, South Africa totaled 18 shots on target and 10 corner kicks compared to Guatemala's four shots and eight corners. Nevertheless, it was the chapines that opened the scoring for the contest.
After a crossing pass from Carlos Figueroa, Gonzalo Romero booted in the deflection from FC Dallas striker Carlos Ruiz to put Guatemala on the board 1-0 at the 37th minute.
At the 45th minute, South Africa responded when Solace Nkosi recovered a deflection off goalkeeper Paulo Cesar Motta and kicked the ball past a diving defender to even the score before halftime.
In the second half, tensions flared as referee Kevin Scott handed out five yellow cards. At the 83rd minute, several players had to be separated in front of the Guatemala goal, and South Africa's Lungisani Ndlela and Guatemala's Elmer Ponciano were given cautions.
With the tie, South Africa finished Group C competition with one win and two ties, while Guatemala was eliminated from the Gold Cup with two losses and a tie.
Miller Lite Man of the Match: Solace Nkosi (South Africa)
GUATEMALA - SOUTH AFRICA 1:1 (1:1)
GUA - Gonzalo Romero (Carlos Ruiz) 37'
RSA - Solace Nkosi 45'
Guatemala: 3-Pablo Sebastian Melgar, 6-Gustavo Cabrera (2-Nelson Noel Morales 73'), 8-Gonzalo Romero (9-Jose Zacarias 64'), 12-Carlos Figueroa, 14-Elmer Ponciano, 16- Julio Giron, 20-Carlos Ruiz, 21-Rigoberto Gomez, 24-Maynor Davila, 25-Paul Cesar Motta, 26-Angel Sanabria
TD: Ramon Maradiaga (HON)
South Africa: 1-Calvin Marlin, 2-Lucky Lekgwathi, 4-Philip Evans, 5-Ricardo Katza, 10-Craig Bianchi, 11-Elrio Van Heerden (21-Gift Leremi 81'), 13-Solace Nkosi, 14-Siyabanga Nomvete (17-Reagan Noble 82'), 18-Abram Raselemane (7-Daine Klate 66'), 19-Lungisani Ndlela, 20-Peter Peterson
TD: Stuart Baxter (ENG)
GUA - Angel Sanabria 68'
RSA - Lucky Lekgwathi 76'
RSA - Lungisani Ndlela 83'
GUA - Elmer Ponciano 83'
RSA - Gift Leremi 90'
R: Kevin STOTT (USA)
A1: Chris STRICKLAND (USA)
A2: Jose NAVIA (COL)
FO: Rodolfo SIBRIAN (SLV)