In the lead-up to Wednesday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final match between South Africa and Nigeria, head coach of South Africa national team, Hugo Broos has asserted that he is positive his team won’t be under pressure.
After defeating Cape Verde in the quarterfinal match by penalties, the Bafana Bafana on Saturday reached the semi-final for the first time in 24 years.
Naija News recalls that Ronwen Williams, their goalkeeper, stopped four shots during the shootout to help the South African nation advance to the Semis of the tournament.
Speaking at a news conference following South Africa’s victory over Cape Verde, Broos was quoted by France24 to have said, “It is maybe bizarre for me to say that but for us our AFCON has already been a success.
“We are in the semi-finals. Nobody thought we would do that when we left South Africa to come here.
“There will be less pressure on us [when will face Nigeria], I am certain of that. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to play the final, certainly not.”
2023 AFCON Semi-finals Fixtures, Kick-Off Time As South Africa Knockout Cape Verde
It is going to be the Super Eagles of Nigeria vs Bafana Bafana of South Africa in one of the two semi-finals at the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast.
South Africa battled with a resilient Cape Verdean side for 120 minutes in the quarter-finals of the 2023 AFCON without conceding nor scoring a goal as the game was forced into a penalty shootout.
Before then, both teams had a series of goalscoring opportunities but Cape Verde’s goalkeeper Vozinha and South Africa’s Ronwen Williams kept their respective teams in the game with fantastic saves.
Williams saved South Africa in the regulation time while Vozinha made multiple saves in extra time to keep Cape Verde in the game.
The heroics of Williams continued during the penalty shootout as he saved four of the five penalties taken by the Cape Verdeans to send South Africa to the semi-finals of the 2023 AFCON for the first time since 2000.
This means that Williams is the first goalkeeper in the history of the AFCON to save four penalties in a single penalty shootout.
The Bafana Bafana who have won the AFCON title once in their history will now face the Super Eagles of Nigeria who knocked out Angola to get to the semis.
Note that Nigeria are three times winners of the tournament and are seen as the favourites to win the 2023 edition of the competition though the hosts, Ivory Coast have also made their way to the semis.
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