Stanley Nwabali Discloses the Pre Penalty Mindset He Had During AFCON Clash Against South Africa

Stanley Nwabali Discloses the Pre Penalty Mindset He Had During AFCON Clash Against South Africa

Ero Samson
updated at April 13, 2024 at 12:25 PM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
Super Eagles logo
Super Eagles
South Africa
Stanley Nwabili logo
-GNigeria logo
South Africa logo
South Africa
South Africa
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
Evidence Makgopa logo
E. Makgopa
Orlando Pirates logoFSouth Africa logo
Teboho Mokoena logo
T. Mokoena
Mamelodi Sundowns logoMSouth Africa logo
Ronwen Williams logo
R. Williams
Mamelodi Sundowns logoGSouth Africa logo
Cape Verde logo
Cape Verde
Cape Verde
Chippa United logo
Chippa United
South Africa
  • Nigeria locked horns with South Africa in the semi-final of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations
  • Goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, ensured victory for the Super Eagles with his penalty heroics
  • The Chippa United shot-stopper has disclosed what he said to himself during the shootout

Stanley Nwabali proved pivotal for Nigeria during the intense 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final match against South Africa.

The closely contested match between both African football powerhouses ended with the score tied at one-all after 90 minutes, and even after extra time, neither team could break the deadlock.

However, as the game headed into penalties, the spotlight turned to the goalkeepers, both teams pinning their hopes on their respective shot-stoppers.

Nigeria, Nwabali, AFCON, CAF, South Africa, Super Eagles, penalties
Stanley Nwabali makes a save during the Africa Cup of Nations 2024 semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

While many anticipated South Africa's Ronwen Williams to replicate his heroics from the quarterfinal against Cape Verde, it was Nigeria's Nwabali who stole the show. With crucial saves against Teboho Mokoena and forward, Evidence Makgopa, Nwabali emerged as the hero, securing victory for Nigeria.

Reflecting on his stellar performance, the 27-year-old goalkeeper disclosed his mindset during the shootout, shedding light on the thoughts that drove him to make those crucial saves.

Nwabali on AFCON penalty shootout

In an interview with the media outlet Far Post, the Chippa United shot-stopper expressed his confidence and detailed his mindset before the penalty shootout.

"As we walked to the goal for the penalty kicks with Ronwen Williams, I told myself, 'This is the end of the road for you guys, sorry my friend.' Everyone expected Williams to save against Nigeria. Even the Nigerians were afraid. You saw that after losing to Nigeria, he succeeded again against DR Congo.
Williams is good at penalties, but I'm not comparing him to myself because I know what I can do. I'm only talking about penalties; when it comes to penalties with me, I don't think I'm going to lose."

Nwabali did deliver on his words as he secured Nigeria's spot in the AFCON final with his heroics. Unfortunately for the Super Eagles, they would ultimately lose the final against the host nation, Ivory Coast.

Super Eagles players express worries about coaching situation

In another report, Sports Brief stated that some players of the Super Eagles have expressed concerns about the slow process of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in appointing a new manager for the national team.

The Nigerian team has been without a coach since the departure of former manager Jose Peseiro.

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).