Benni McCarthy: Man United Coach Explains Why Bafana Bafana Thrived at 2023 Afcon

Benni McCarthy: Man United Coach Explains Why Bafana Bafana Thrived at 2023 Afcon

Edwin Kiplagat
February 25, 2024 at 2:19 PM
In this article:
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South Africa
South Africa
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • South Africa performed well at the 2023 AFCON
  • They finished third despite losing their first game
  • Benni McCarthy says their "brotherhood" was key

South Africa finished third in the recently concluded 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Despite starting with a frustrating loss, they went the entire campaign undefeated and even eliminated favourites Morocco.

South Africa's all-time top scorer and Manchester United first-team coach Benni McCarthy says one quality helped Hugo Broos' side excel in Ivory Coast.

Benni McCarthy, South Africa, Hugo Broos, Ronwen Williams
Benni McCarthy is arguably South Africa's greatest-ever player. Photos by Visionhaus and Matthew Peters.
Source: Getty Images

South Africa reached the semi-final for the first time since 2000, but fell short against Nigeria, who won in the penalty shootout.

They lost 2-0 to Mali in their opening game, but recovered impressively, thanks to incredible goalkeeping from Ronwen Williams. Beating Morocco in the Round of 16 was the highlight of their campaign.

Benny McCarthy said South Africa were great in Ivory Coast because of their togetherness, per iDiski Times.

“There seemed to be a togetherness about that team – a brotherhood. They were together and it was not a team based on individual superstars, they were all good in their own right.”
“But they were together, and they played for each other, and they worked for each other, as a unit, and that brought success to the team. So yeah, that was a really good trait to have."

he added that the team have demonstrated that they can keep their run going.

“And they showed all the ingredients of being able to continue on that path now that they find themselves on.”

South Africa are looking for their second AFCON title. They last won the continental crown in 1996 on home soil.

South Africa beat DR Congo to finish 3rd

South Africa defeated the DR Congo to finish third at the 2023 AFCON, as Sports Brief reported earlier.

After a 0-0 draw following 90 minutes in Abidjan, Ronwen Williams saved spot kicks from Chancel Mbemba and Meschack Elia to give Bafana Bafana the bronze medal in the Ivory Coast.

DR Congo will regret many missed chances during the regular time in a lively match, while South Africa maintained a perfect record in third-place play-offs, having beaten Tunisia on penalties 24 years ago.

Nwabali accepts Williams as best goalkeeper

Sports Brief earlier reported on Nwabali accepting that Ronwen Williams deserved to win the Golden Glove at the 2023 AFCON after the tight battle between the two.

The Chippa United goalkeeper had a commendable display in the competition as he conceded four goals, three of which were from open play.

The South African goalkeeper took the Golden Glove after keeping five clean sheets in the competition.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.