Williams wins Afcon’s best keeper award, Bafana get Fair Play prize
The SA captain’s heroics include four stops in the quarterfinal penalty shoot-out against Cape Verde
Ronwen Williams won the Africa Cup of Nations’ Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, announced after Sunday night’s final when hosts Ivory Coast sent the country into delirium by beating Nigeria 2-1 in Abidjan.
Bafana Bafana also won the Fair Play Award and were bronze medallists.
Bafana captain Williams’ heroics in helping his team to a first third-place finish since 2000 included an amazing four stops in the penalty shoot-out in the quarterfinal against Cape Verde.
After a 2-0 defeat to Mali in Bafana’s opener he kept five clean sheets. These came in the 4-0 group stage win against Namibia, a goalless draw against Tunisia and a 2-0 last-16 win over Morocco. There was also the 0-0 extra-time result in the quarterfinal against Cape Verde and the goalless full-time third-place playoff result against Democratic Republic of Congo.
Williams conceded a goal in the 1-1 result after extra time in the semifinal against Nigeria, who won on penalties. He made two saves in the third-place penalty shoot-out. After the two goals against Mali, the SA keeper only conceded once again in six matches.
Despite such impressive statistics, the Mamelodi Sundowns star would have had stiff competition from Nigeria keeper Stanley Nwabali, who plays in SA for Chippa United.
Stanley Nwabali:— Micky Jnr (@MickyJnr__) February 12, 2024
“Ronwen Williams is a very good goalkeeper to be honest. I am competing with this kind of guy and he has the chance to win the best goalkeeper of the tournament, he deserves it.”
When others are better than you, appreciating them shows how real you are. Well… pic.twitter.com/nDyTQ1UgpI
Nwabali conceded twice in the final. Before that he conceded in the Super Eagles’ opening 1-1 draw against Equatorial Guinea, then kept four clean sheets going into the final.
The Fair Play Award is determined by the total number of yellow and red cards accumulated by each team.
Nigeria centre-back and captain William Troost-Ekong won the Player of the Tournament award. Equatorial Guinea’s Emilio Nsue Lopez, with five goals, was top scorer.
Africa Cup of Nations prize winners
- Winners: Ivory Coast
- Finalists: Nigeria
- Third: South Africa
- Fourth: Democratic Republic of Congo
- Best Player: William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria)
- Golden Boot: Emilio Nsue Lopez, five goals (Equatorial Guinea)
- Best Goalkeeper: Ronwen Williams (South Africa)
- Fair Play Team: South Africa.
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