Ronwen Williams: Bafana Bafana Goalkeeper Downplays Personal Glory After AFCON Penalty Heroics

Ronwen Williams: Bafana Bafana Goalkeeper Downplays Personal Glory After AFCON Penalty Heroics

Robert Abong'o
updated at February 5, 2024 at 9:28 AM
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  • Ronwen Williams has downplayed his penalty heroics in the AFCON 2023 quarter-final
  • The Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper saved a historic four penalties against Cape Verde
  • South Africa will face Nigeria's Super Eagles in a semi-final clash at the Stade de la Paix

Bafana Bafana captain, Ronwen Williams, has humbly deflected praise despite his outstanding performance in a record-breaking penalty shootout against Cape Verde in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals.

In the thrilling encounter, the Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper - also voted the Man of the Match - made history by saving an unprecedented four penalties.

South Africa advanced to the next stage of the tournament after a 0-0 draw with the Blue Sharks in regular and extra time, securing a 2-1 victory via a post-match shootout.

Ronwen Williams has downplayed his penalty heroics against Cape Verde in the AFCON 2023 quarterfinal. Photos: Franck Fife.
Ronwen Williams saved four penalties against Cape Verde in the AFCON 2023 quarter-final. Photos: Franck Fife.
Source: Getty Images

Williams has remained focused on the team's collective effort, stressing the unity and determination displayed throughout the challenging 120-plus minutes.

"The fight, the desire we had as a team, that's what matters to me," the Mamelodi Sundowns keeper said, as quoted by iDiski Times.

Williams graciously accepted the individual accolade on behalf of the entire team, recognising their shared journey.

He also credited their analyst, Sinesipho Mali, for tireless work behind the scenes, providing valuable insight and preparing him with numerous penalty clips to draw from.

Broos praises Williams, admits to struggles

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana coach, Hugo Broos praised Williams for his exceptional penalty-saving skills but acknowledged the overall challenges faced by the team in the game against Cape Verde.

While highlighting the uniqueness of penalty situations and the unpredictability of the game, the boss conceded that the team's performance wasn't at its best.

He attributed this to the pressure affecting some players, stressing that the experience might have been new and nerve-wracking for them.

"[Williams] did not only save four penalties, he saved us two minutes before the end with a player alone in front of him. Yes, he was the Man of the Match," he said, as reported by The Citizen.

Looking ahead, South Africa is set to face Nigeria in the semi-finals at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, with Williams and the team eager to build on their collective strength and secure a spot in the tournament's final.

The two teams met last in the 2019 edition of the AFCON, where Bafana Bafana succumbed to a 2-1 defeat, with William Troost-Ekong scoring a late match-winner for the Super Eagles.

Internet's best reactions to Bafana's AFCON QF win

Sport Brief also previously reported on some of the internet's best reactions after Bafana Bafana's AFCON QF win over Cape Verde.

The dramatic win sent South Africa to the AFCON semi-finals for the first time since 2000 but ended a big dream for the Blue Sharks.

Bryan Teixeira was the lone scorer for Cape Verde from the penalty spot, while Teboho Mokoena and Mothobi Mvala scored for Bafana.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
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