Bafana Bafana have secured the bronze medal at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after beating DR Congo 6-5 on penalties.
In the build up to game, Bafana head coach Hugo Broos played down the importance of the game, claiming it’s just for statistics that nobody would remember.
Clearly still downhearted by the heartbreaking semi-final loss to Nigeria on penalties, they faced a DR Congo side who lost out 1-0 to hosts Ivory Coast.
The two sides met late last year for an AFCON preparation friendly, which Bafana came out on top 1-0 in Orlando but with a much-changed squad from Sebastein Desabre, it appeared their usual fluency was lost while their finishing proved rather supbar in the opening half.
Neither side looked ready to take control of the game, with South Africa preferring a slow build-up from the back and Congo not interested in pressing high and leaving spaces behind to be exploited.
That was the story of the first-half, with Ronwen Williams alert of sniffing out the danger of the DRC attack with ease in a rather flat atmosphere in the boiling arena in Abidjan.
The second half DR Congo came out with more purpose, befitting of the curtain raiser of the final tomorrow – but again in the opening 15 minutes saw some wayward attempts at goal.
While the second half opened the game up to be a more end to end affair, Congo had the more chances and despite changing their entire front three, the finishing issues persisted for the side who only had one win coming into the game for the duration of the tournament.
Bafana were also guilty of spurning a chance late on with Mihlali Mayambela’s cross evading everyone across the face off goal, before Fiston Mayele missed another one on one chance on the 90th minute.
After the 90 minutes, the game went straight to penalties, with Teboho Mokoena missing Bafana’s first spot-kick but captain Ronwen Williams becoming the hero again after saving two penalties.