South Africa’s Road to AFCON 2023 Final: Who’s Next for Bafana Bafana After Cape Verde Win in Last 8

South Africa’s Road to AFCON 2023 Final: Who’s Next for Bafana Bafana After Cape Verde Win in Last 8

Joel Reyes
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Nigeria logo
Angola logo
Cape Verde logo
Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Mali logo
Democratic Republic of the Congo logo
DR Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Guinea logo
  • South Africa qualified for the knockouts as one of the second-placed teams
  • They defeated Cape Verde in the quarter-finals to book a place in the next round
  • Bafana Bafana will next face Nigeria in the AFCON 2023 semi-finals

South Africa's quest to win their second AFCON title remains very much alive after they defeated Cape Verde in the quarter-finals.

Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams starred in the penalty shootout to send Bafana Bafana into the last 4.

Sports Brief looks at their upcoming match in the semi-finals and the road they will need to take to win the prestigious championship.

Ronwen Williams, South Africa, Cape Verde, AFCON, AFCON 2023, Nigeria
Ronwen Williams makes a save in the penalty shootout against Cape Verde. Image: FRANCK FIFE.
Source: Getty Images

South Africa edge past Cape Verde

After beating the Atlas Lions, Bafana Bafana shifted their focus to their quarter-final match against Cape Verde.

The Blue Sharks headed into that contest in fine form, recording three wins and a draw.

South Africa last faced the Blue Sharks in the Africa Cup of Nations back in 2013. Both sides struggled offensively in that contest, with the match ending in a goalless draw.

Their last meeting came in 2017 in the CAF World Cup Qualifiers. Cape Verde defeated South Africa 2-1 in Durban, with Garry Rodrigues scoring a double in the second half, per ESPN.

Their quarter-final clash this year was a nervy affair, with both sides failing to score in regulation and extra time.

Both sides still struggled to find the back of the net in the penalty shootout, combining for six missed penalties.

Williams led Bafana Bafana to victory, saving four of the five penalties he faced against Cape Verde.

Bafana Bafana's semis opponent

With their win against the Blue Sharks, South Africa arranged a Final Four clash with Nigeria.

The Super Eagles have yet to lose in this tournament, recording two victories and a draw in the group stage before beating Cameroon (2-0) and Angola (1-0) in the knockout rounds.

South Africa last faced Nigeria in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Bafana Bafana lost to the Super Eagles 2-1, with William Troost-Ekong scoring the match-winner for Nigeria in the 89th minute.

South Africa's possible AFCON final opponents

The other semi-final matchup will feature hosts Ivory Coast and DR Congo.

One of these two teams will reach the AFCON 2023 final. That championship match is scheduled to take place on February 11, per CAF.

Will South Africa reach the final for the third time in their history? Bafana Bafana fans will soon find out.

Williams the hero for South Africa

Sports Brief recently reported on Ronwen Williams' star turn in the AFCON 2023 quarter-finals.

The South African goalkeeper was a human fortress for Bafana Bafana in the penalty shootout win against Cape Verde.

He saved four spot kicks to lead South Africa to the semis for the first time since 2000.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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