South Africa, with a fantastic Ronwen Williams in goal, qualified for the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations against Nigeria by eliminating Cape Verde 2 on penalties to 1 (0- 0 a.p.), during the last quarter-final, Saturday evening in Yamoussoukro. The hero of the match was Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who saved four shots on goal. Against the Nigerians, the South Africans will try next Wednesday (6:00 p.m.) in Bouaké to reach a new CAN final after the one won in 1996 and the one lost in 1998.
The first half was quite clearly dominated by Cape Verde who, however, never really appeared dangerous as they approached the goal guarded by Ronwen Williams. The first real scoring opportunity only came in the 56th minute when Cape Verdean center forward Garry Rodrigues, thrown on the edge of offside by left back Joao Paulo, found himself alone in front of the goal opponent. But the poorly adjusted curled shot from the Blue Sharks center forward found the South African goalkeeper (56th).
Then in the 78th minute, on a new Cape Verdean offensive, Olympiakos striker Jovane sent a rebound just over, receiving a cross from the right from Kenny Rocha Santos. And in added time of regulation time, Williams saved his team by diverting onto the crossbar a shot from Gilson “Benchimol” Tavares who had appeared alone in front of him (90 2). From the start of extra time, the Bafana Bafana of Belgian coach Hugo Broos in turn came close to opening the scoring when Mihlali Mayambela came up against goalkeeper Vozinha, author of a disaster save (92nd). The penalty shootout finally smiled on Bafana Bafana, with a prodigious Williams in goal, who deflected four of the five Cape Verdean attempts.