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Stanley Nwabali Humbly Accepts Ronwen Williams As the Deserving AFCON Golden Glove Recipient
- Stanley Nwabali had an almost perfect AFCON 2023 until the final 30 minutes
- Ronwen Williams was given the Golden Glove award for his shootout performances
- The Sundowns keeper has won the award at league, continental and international level
Either goalkeeper would have been a worthy recipient but one would have to miss out.
Stanley Nwabali and Ronwen Williams became celebrities with gloves over the past six weeks, becoming inseparable in the 'best goalkeeper' debate.
The Mamelodi Sundowns man grabbed the consolation prize as the Nigerian had salt added to his wounds on a stinging night of defeat in Abidjan.
The big Port Harcourt product would not let his emotions override him at his most vulnerable, accepting the Golden Glove outcome with grace.
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He conceded admirably that he was well aware of Williams' quality and felt it was no surprise that he was able to win the Gold Glove. He told the gathered media after the final:
“Ronwen Williams is a very good goalkeeper, to be honest. He has the chance to win the best goalkeeper of the tournament, he deserves it. I wish him well and I give him credit."
Had Nwabali kept out Franck Kessie's 62nd minute header, the tale of the evening and the mood in Lagos would likely have been quite the opposite.
It was only the third goal he had conceded - one from open play, one from a penalty and one from that corner. Sebastien Haller's freakish winner made it four, and a second from open play.
Williams conceded thrice, two to Mali and once to William Troost-Ekong. What may have also tilted the scales in South African's favour were his two match-winning shootout performances, even if Nigeria had his number in the semi-final.
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The 32-year-old gloveman added the award to his personal collection while Bafana Bafana grabbed an additional consolation prize, winning the Fair Play award as per CAF.
AFCON 2023's best individuals
Sports Brief recently compiled a list of the individual award winners at AFCON 2023.
Ronwen Williams was joined by William Troost-Ekong and Emilio Nsue as award winners.
The Nigerian captain won Player of the Tournament while Nsue was the top goal scorer.