South Africa vs DR Congo AFCON 2023: Third Place Playoff Predictions, Picks, Preview, and Team News

South Africa vs DR Congo AFCON 2023: Third Place Playoff Predictions, Picks, Preview, and Team News

Joel Reyes
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
Themba Zwane logo
T. Zwane
-MSouth Africa logo
Gaël Kakuta logo
G. Kakuta
Amiens logoMDemocratic Republic of the Congo logo
Ronwen Williams logo
R. Williams
Mamelodi Sundowns logoGSouth Africa logo
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Democratic Republic of the Congo logo
DR Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Stanley Nwabali logo
S. Nwabali
-GNigeria logo
  • South Africa and DR Congo lock horns in the third-place match this Saturday
  • Bafana Bafana lost in heartbreaking fashion to Nigeria in the semi-finals
  • The Leopards lost to Ivory Coast 1-0 in their AFCON semi-final showdown

South Africa and DR Congo fell short in their bids to win the AFCON title, losing their semi-final matchups to Nigeria and Ivory Coast, respectively.

All is not lost for Bafana Bafana and the Leopards, with the two teams set to lock horns for the bronze medal in the third-place playoff this coming Saturday (February 10).

Read on as Sports Brief brings you a preview of this AFCON clash.

South Africa, DR Congo, AFCON, AFCON 2023, Gael Kakuta, Themba Zwane
Gael Kakuta and Themba Zwane. Images: Visionhaus/ FADEL SENNA.
Source: Getty Images

South Africa vs. DR Congo Preview

Form Guide

South Africa's quest to win their second AFCON title ended on Wednesday, losing to Nigeria in a penalty shootout.

Captain, Ronwen Williams, failed to replicate his heroics in the game against Cape Verde, with the Super Eagles recording a 4-2 win on penalties.

It was a gut-wrenching loss for Bafana Bafana, who forced extra time following a dramatic equaliser by Teboho Mokoena late in the second half.

The same fate happened to DR Congo, who lost 1-0 to Ivory Coast in the other semi-final. Sebastien Haller broke the Leopards' hearts, scoring the game's lone goal in the 65th minute, per France24.

It was the first loss for DR Congo in this tournament. They drew all of their matches in the group stage and defeated Egypt and Guinea in the knockout round.

Recent Head-to-Head Matchups

South Africa and DR Congo last faced each other in a friendly match last year, with Bafana Bafana recording a narrow 1-0 victory.

Lyle Foster starred in that contest, scoring the match-winner in the 25th minute.

The two sides last squared off in the Africa Cup of Nations back in 2000 during the group stage.

Bafana Bafana recorded a 1-0 win over the Leopards in that encounter, with Shaun Bartlett scoring the game's only goal in the 44th minute.

Team News

Grant Kekana is suspended for Saturday's clash after picking up a red card against Nigeria, per The Standard.

Siyanda Xulu and Nkosinathi Sibisi are some of the options for Hugo Broos to replace Kekana in the centre of defence.

Xulu started in their opening group match against Mali but was blamed by fans after committing some costly mistakes.

DR Congo's Gael Kakuta returned from injury in the match against Ivory Coast but managed only 45 minutes in the semi-final. It would be interesting to see if he will play against South Africa.

Writer's Prediction

South Africa edge past DR Congo 1-0 to claim the bronze medal.

Nwabali reportedly threatened by Bafana fans

Sports Brief recently reported on the allegations of threats against Stanley Nwabali.

The Nigerian goalkeeper starred in the shootout, saving two penalties against Bafana.

Some fans reportedly told Nwabali not to return to South Africa after the AFCON semi.

Joel Reyes photo
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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