They made my job 50% easier: Williams salutes Bafana coaches
Goalkeeper who ensured SA victory over Cape Verde full of praise for video analyst and goalkeeper coach
Bafana Bafana hero Ronwen Williams singled out two members of coach Hugo Broos’s technical team who he said made his job in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarterfinal penalty shoot-out against Cape Verde a lot easier.
SA captain Williams was magnificent in the 2-1 shootout win, saving four of Cape Verde’s five penalties to steer Bafana to their first Afcon semifinal in 24 years.
Williams saved three consecutive penalties by Bebe, Willy Smedo and Laros Duarte before being beaten by Bryan Teixeria. The Bafana skipper also saved Cape Verde’s fifth kick by Patrick Adrande to win the game for SA.
Teboho Mokoena and Mothobi Mvala scored for Bafana in the shootout while Zakhele Lepasa and Aubrey Modiba missed.
Williams saluted Bafana video analyst Sinesipho Mali and goalkeeper-coach Grant Johnson — the keeper who won the Premier Soccer League with Manning Rangers in the inaugural Premiership season in 1996/97 — for helping him be ready for Cape Verde’s spot-kickers.
“The analysts prepared me. They cut so many videos and studied the clips. I studied them too and tried to pick things up,” Williams said.
“Big up to the analysts for preparing the clips for me to watch and study. They made my job 50% easier because I had an idea of where the players were going to shoot the ball.”
Williams was not only sublime in the penalties. He also produced a fine save onto the woodwork when substitute Gilson Benchimol was through one-on-one near the end of normal time.
The SA skipper applauded the will to fight until the end from his team, who reached their first Afcon semifinal since 2000.
“The fight and desire we had in the team to fight for 120 minutes, that’s what matters to me,” Williams said. “To see the brotherhood out there, the fight and the will to keep going, that’s what matters to me and what is important.
“So I receive this [man of the match award] on behalf of all the players, the technical staff and everybody that has been on this journey with us.”