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PSL Keeper Heroics Not Enough For AFCON

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations unearthed several new stars already and one in particular from the DStv Premiership made the continent stand up and take notice.

Jean-Noël Amonome, 24, is not a name many, even in South Africa, would have heard of prior to the biennial event, despite being contracted to AmaZulu since January 2020.

The talented shot-stopper joined Usuthu from Football Club 105 Libreville in his homeland, touted as a promising prospect and spent two spells away on loan from the club since.

Stints at Royal Eagles and Uthongathi in KZN have seemingly not been enough to develop him towards the first-choice spot at Benni McCarthy’s side as he still awaits his official debut.

Bafana Bafana keeper Veli Mothwa (30) and 26-year-old Neil Boshoff remain ahead of him in the pecking order but his displays for his country at AFCON could change things – or at least secure him first-team football elsewhere.

The Panthers head coach Patrice Neveu handed him his debut in March last year and he’s since racked up eight caps, four of which arrived at the showpiece in Cameroon where he not only displayed some impressive shot-stopping but also provided two assists to showcase another string to his bow.

But his coming of age was surely in the last-16 as he braved alongside his Gabonese counterparts to play more than an hour with 10-men and force Burkina Faso to penalties with the scores at 1-1 after 120 minutes.

This after going down 1-0 in the first half and finishing a dramatic equaliser in stoppage time. Key to this was Amonome.

He made eight crucial saves, which included two in the penalty shoot-out against the more illustrious Stallions and had his side on the brink of a historic quarter-final.

But it wasn’t to be as they eventually lost our 7-6, but Amonome has surely catapulted himself into new heights, whether it be in South Africa – or beyond – only time will tell.

iDiski Times
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