South Africa advanced to the semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations with a penalty shootout victory over Cape Verde.
Bebe, Willy Semedo, Laros Duarte, and Patrick Andrade were all stopped in the shootout by the exceptional Williams, who also made a fantastic late save to deflect Gilson Benchimol’s first-time shot against the post, forcing the torturous quarter-final into extra time.
After the two teams failed to score in 120 minutes, the shootout proved to be an equally low-scoring affair, with only one of the first six conversions, but Bafana Bafana’s custodian Ronwen Williams saved four spot-kicks to help his team win 2-1.
Ronwen Williams was the hero as South Africa defeated Cape Verde 2-1 in a dramatic penalty shootout to go to the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals.
The Bafana Bafana custodian stopped four penalty kicks in a thrilling finish in Yamoussoukro, securing his country’s last-four position against Nigeria.
Over 120 minutes at Stade Charles Konan Banny de Yamoussoukro, opportunities were scarce, with Cape Verde scoring the most.
Williams came to the rescue in the 56th minute, stopping Garry Rodrigues and then making a superb reflex save to deny Gilson Benchimol in stoppage time.
Vozinha performed heroics at the opposite end early in extra time, stopping both Mihlali Mayambela and Evidence Makgopa as the match went to penalties.
Teboho Mokoena and Mothobi Mvala scored for South Africa, and while Bryan Teixeira was on goal for Cape Verde, Williams denied Bebe, Willy Semedo, Laros Duarte, and Patrick Andrade, propelling Bafana Bafana into the last four.
Cape Verde was one penalty shootout away from reaching the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals for the first time.
However, they were unable to capitalise, with four of their players missing from the spot.
South Africa, aided by Williams’ heroics, kept their composure to reach the last four for the first time since 2000.
It had to be him. His magnificent reflex save from Gilson in second-half stoppage time felt like it could be a pivotal moment in the contest.
He then stood up for his country under the most intense pressure, guessing correctly to keep out four Cape Verde penalties and secure that semi-final place.