Africa: Afcon – Williams Is Hero As South Africa Book Semifinal Place Against Nigeria

South Africa captain Williams was the hero, as he saved four of the five penalties to snag their first semifinal place in 24 years.

South Africa beat Cape Verde 2-1 on penalties on Saturday at the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro to book a semifinal date with Nigeria.

Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams was the hero, as he saved four of the five penalties to send South Africa into an AFCON semifinal for the first time in 24 years.

Before his penalty heroics, Williams had denied Gilson Benchimol in the second minute of added time in the second half. Gilson’s shot was goal-bound until Williams tipped the ball onto the crossbar and gratefully grabbed the rebound. His yell showed how much that save meant to him.

South Africa started well, and Cape Verde goalkeeper Josimar Diaz Vozinha made the first save in the match in the 10th minute as Bafana Bafana looked for an opening goal.

The first half was one in which South Africa had the better scoring openings, but errant finishing saw the half ending level.

Evidence Makgopa had a shot saved early in the second half before Cape Verde got their first shot on target through Garry Rodrigues. The Cape Verde goalkeeper pulled off two magnificent saves to keep the scoreline at 0-0.

Benchimol almost won it for the Islanders on the cusp of full time, but Williams ensured the match went into extra time. The extra time did not provide any goals, even though Cape Verde pushed the hardest.

Williams then made himself the South African hero by saving four of the five spot kicks, as Cape Verde scored just one.

Bebe, Willy Semedo, and Laros Duarte saw their kicks saved by Williams before Bryan Teixeira scored. Mothobi Mvala scored South Africa’s fourth kick before Patrick saw his fifth kick saved.

The victory sent Bafana Bafana to their first semifinal since 2000, where they will meet Nigeria at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.

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