AFCON 2023: Ronwen Williams Shines As South Africa Claim Bronze in Ivory Coast Against DR Congo

AFCON 2023: Ronwen Williams Shines As South Africa Claim Bronze in Ivory Coast Against DR Congo

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
Democratic Republic of the Congo logo
DR Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Ivory Coast logo
Cote DIvoire
Ivory Coast
Ronwen Williams logo
R. Williams
Mamelodi Sundowns logoGSouth Africa logo
Teboho Mokoena logo
T. Mokoena
Mamelodi Sundowns logoMSouth Africa logo
Chancel Mbemba logo
C. Mbemba
Marseille logoDDemocratic Republic of the Congo logo
Ahmed Musa logo
A. Musa
Sivasspor logoFNigeria logo
Nigeria logo
Meschack Elia logo
M. Elia
Young Boys logoFDemocratic Republic of the Congo logo
Silas Katompa Mvumpa logo
S. Wamangituka
-FDemocratic Republic of the Congo logo
Grady Diangana logo
G. Diangana
West Bromwich Albion logoMDemocratic Republic of the Congo logo
  • South Africa faced off against DR Congo in the third-place final of the AFCON
  • The pulsating encounter ended with nothing to separate both sides on the night
  • Ronwen Williams sealed victory for Bafana Bafana with his penalty heroics

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) once again provided fans with an electrifying encounter as South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, faced off against DR Congo's Les Leopard, in the thrilling third-place final of the tournament.

Anticipation ran high for this match, with the bronze medal at stake, and it certainly lived up to expectations, featuring a flurry of end-to-end attacking attempts from the blast of referee, Bamlak Weyesa’s, whistle.

AFCON, CAF, South Africa, DR Congo, Ronwen Williams
Goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams of South Africa makes a penalty save during the Africa Cup of Nations match against DR Congo. Image: Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

DR Congo would come close to scoring on multiple occasions. However, lack of precision from their array of attackers, including Silas Mvumpa and Grady Diangana, would cause the game to remain deadlocked.

Hugo Broos’ team had their own opportunities, with forwards, Evidence Makgopa and Mihlali Mayambela, testing their luck from range.

Nonetheless, neither side managed to break the deadlock after 90 minutes, leading the game straight into a tense penalty shootout.

Bafana Bafana, in their third consecutive shootout at the AFCON, had a shaky start as midfielder, Teboho Mokoena, hit the upright from the penalty spot. This miss seemed to invigorate Les Leopards, who confidently converted their subsequent four penalties.

However, when DR Congo seemed poised to secure their first AFCON medal since the turn of the century, South Africa’s goalkeeper, Ronwen Williams, came up clutch.

The 32-year-old, who had already showcased his penalty-saving prowess in the quarter-final against Cape Verde, denied DR Congo captain, Chancel Mbemba's crucial penalty, keeping Bafana Bafana's hopes alive.

In a dramatic turn of events, Williams then thwarted another spot-kick from Meschack Elia, sealing South Africa's first AFCON medal since their second-place finish at the showpiece hosted by Burkina Faso, in 1998.

Musa downplays Ivory Coast's form

Sports Brief in another report stated the captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Ahmed Musa, has downplayed the form of the host nation, Ivory Coast, ahead of the AFCON final.

Les Elephants have witnessed a resurgence since their underwhelming group-stage run at the showpiece.

Nigeria had previously defeated the Ivorians earlier in the tournament, and Musa is confident the Super Eagles will repeat their stellar performance against them in the final.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).