2023 AFCON: South Africa v DR Congo report

2023 AFCON: South Africa v DR Congo report
Ronwen Williams of South Africa celebrates with teammates after saving penalty during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations 3rd place match between South Africa and DR Congo at Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Cote dIvoire on 10 February 2024 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Sunday Feb 11, 2024. 00:34

On Saturday night, Bafana Bafana concluded their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium by placing third. For the first time since 2000, South Africa will take home the bronze medal thanks to their victory over DR Congo.

Date: 10 February 2024

South Africa (0)

DR Congo (0)

(South Africa won 6-5 on penalties)

South Africa: R. Williams, K. Mudau, S. Xulu, N. Sibisi, A. Modiba, T. Mokoena, S. Sithole, T. Morena (T. Mashego 72’), T. Zwane (T. Monare 58’), M. Mayambela (Z. Lepasa 89’), E. Makgopa (O. Appollis 58’)

DR Congo: D. Bertaud, B. Bayeye, C. Mbemba, D. Batubinsika, J. Kayembe, A. Tshibola (O. Mfulu 46’), S. Moutoussamy, T. Bongonda (M. Elia 33’), G. Diangana (Y. Wissa 68’), Silas (F. Mayele 79’), S. Banza (C. Bakambu 79’)

First 45’: As Bafana Bafana settled into the game, DR Congo opened with a spectacular display of their attacking football. After that, South Africa got going and put on a few attacking displays of their own. Early in the first half, Evidence Makgopa was given a great pass by Teboho Mokoena, and he attempted a shot but missed. The Leopards replied soon after, but Nkosinathi Sibisi thwarted their attempts.

In the 27th minute, Banza had another good chance for the DR Congo, but Ronwen Williams easily collected it because his shot was too weak. In the 38th minute, Diangana attempted to find Banza at the back post, but his shot was too high to be converted, giving them another opportunity.

Bertaud stopped Mihlali Mayambela’s attempt, which would have given Bafana Bafana some hope on his right foot as well. Meshack crossed the goal line towards the end of the first half, but South Africa’s defenders came through valiantly to thwart the attack. During the first half of the match, neither team was able to break the deadlock.

Second 45’: Similar to the first half, both teams attempted to score but were unsuccessful in doing so in the second half. DR Congo lost more possessions than South Africa did.

Despite Williams’ error in losing the ball and leaving the net exposed, Silas made a good attempt but was unable to take advantage of it. The match continued to follow the same pattern of neither team finding the back of the net, raising the prospect of extra time.

Williams was once again the hero as he made two saves to give South Africa a third-place finish in the 2023 AFCON. The match was tied at full time, forcing a penalty shootout that Bafana Bafana won 6-5.

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