South Africa coach Hugo Broos has refused to credit luck for their dramatic penalty shootout win over Cape Verde and instead praised the “masterpiece” of goalkeeper and captain Ronwen Williams.
Williams was the hero with four saves in the shoot-out as South Africa beat Cape Verde 2-1 on penalties to reach the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals on Saturday after a goalless draw in their quarter-final tie.
The Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper had already come up with a vital stop at the end of normal time and then produced a remarkable performance to keep out penalties by Bebe, Willy Semedo, Laros Duarte, and Patrick Andrade.
Speaking after the match, Broos said Williams’ performance was not limited to just the shootout.
“We were not lucky because we had a very good ‘keeper today. If you can stop four penalties, it is not luck anymore,” said the South African coach.
“He did not only do that; he also saved us two minutes before the end with a player who was alone in front of him, so yes, he was man of the match. I think you could choose nobody else.”
South Africa themselves failed to convert two spot-kicks but still progressed thanks to Williams’ heroics. They now advance to a semi-final showdown with Nigeria on Wednesday.
Williams’ penalty masterclass showcased his skills on the biggest stage. The victory continues South Africa’s fairytale run in Ivory Coast as they aim to capture a second AFCON title, building on their 1996 triumph.
South Africa’s progression sets up a blockbuster semi-final against Nigeria, a repeat of the 2000 AFCON clash where the Super Eagles triumphed 2-0 thanks to goals from Tijani Babangida.