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Williams Saves Four Penalties To Send Bafana Into SFs

South Africa advanced to the semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after Ronwen Williams saved four penalties in a shootout win at the Stade Charles Konan Banny Stadium on Saturday evening.

The first half brought out the tactical affair between coaches Hugo Broos and Bubista that was expected coming into the game.

A chess game, if you like, with both sides having periods of ascendency but none showing the composure of the quality to covert it into clear-cut chances.

It brought all sorts of emotions in Yamoussokro where the Blues Sharks fans added to the local support brought massive motivation for the West Africans.

But up until the hour mark, it was South Africa who had more opportunities to open the scoring despite Cape Verde showing some enterprising passing schemes in and around the area.

It was a testament to the defensive understanding and prowess of Bafana that saw them pick up three clean sheets en route to the quarter-finals.

The fatigue was evident as the second half wore on which brought out a lacklustre display and after Broos looked to the bench, Thapelo Maseko and Mihali Mayambela were introduced for Tapelo Morena and Percy Tau respectively.

But Cape Verde nearly stole it in stoppage time had it not been for a finger-tip save from captain Ronwen Williams taking the game to extra time at 0-0.

Vozinha pulled out two impressive saves to keep the game goalless from Grant Kekana and Evidence Makgopa and that was as close as it got for the additional half hour.

The game went to penalties, with Williams saving four Cape Verde spot-kicks to send South Africa into wild celebrations.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.