AFCON 2023: South Africa beat Congo DR 6-5 penalties to win bronze

South Africa secured the bronze medal of the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2023 with a 6-5 penalty shootout victory over Democratic Republic of Congo tonight in Abijdan, Cote d’Ivoire.
AFCON 2023: South Africa beat Congo DR 6-5 penalties to win bronze

South Africa secured the bronze medal of the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON 2023 with a 6-5 penalty shootout victory over Democratic Republic of Congo tonight in Abijdan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Regulation time ended 0-0 and South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams stopped two of DR Congo’s kicks to ensure Bafana Bafana will not return home empty-handed.

The bronze is South Africa’s second ever in the competition’s history, and their first since 2000, when they also beat Tunisia on penalties in the third-place match.

The action leading to tonight’s penalty shootout was cagey, coming three days after both sides lost intense semi-final matches to Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.

There were no real scoring opportunities in a drab first half but the game picked up some intensity after the break, with DR Congo the more positive side.

DR Congo caused the South Africa defence some problems and Simon Banza and Grady Diangana threatened but were let down by wayward finishing.

Bafana Bafana also struggled to create openings until late into the game when substitute Mihlali Mayambela almost won it for them but fired over from a promising position.

South Africa missed their first penalty through Teboho Mokoena, whose kick struck the post, three days after his attempt against Nigeria in the semi-final was saved by Stanley Nwabali.

Bafana Bafana were however given a lifeline when DR Congo captain Chancel Mbemba’s potential winning penalty was saved by Williams, who had made history with four spot kick saves against Cape Verde in the quarter-finals.

Williams made another save during the sudden death part of the shootout to earn Bafana Bafana the bronze medal.

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