Afcon 2023: South Africa keeper Ronwen Williams ‘should be minister to save economy’

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South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams should be made his country’s finance minister to ‘save the economy’ after his player of the match performance against Cape Verde, his team-mate Grant Kekana joked.

The Bafana Bafana captain saved four penalties in a remarkable performance that earned him the player of the match award after their their quarter-final shootout in Yamoussoukro.

Williams, 32, also denied Gilson Benchimol with an incredible reaction save to push the Blue Sharks forward’s effort on to the bar after he was put through with a chance win the match in injury time at the end of 90 minutes.

“He is a world-class goalkeeper,” South Africa defender Grant Kekana said.

“I think he should be made the minister of finance – he can save South Africa’s economy.”

Williams reserved praise for the team’s analysts, who he said have “filled his phone” with clips of penalties taken by Cape Verde.

The stopper, who won the inaugural African Football League with Mamelodi Sundowns last season, says he had a “good idea” where the penalties would be going thanks to the work of the team behind the scenes and his highlight was the save to deny Benchimol rather than the shootout.

“There weren’t too many clear-cut chances and that was one where that got in behind the defence and there was only a few minutes to go,” Williams said.

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“So for me that save stands out more than anything else. I’m just proud I could keep my team in the game because they don’t give me so much work to do.”

Bafana Bafana have not conceded a goal at the tournament since their opening match, when they lost 2-0 to Mali.

Kekana, who plays alongside Williams for Sundowns, was overlooked for that game but has been an ever present since in the heart of the defence to coincide with the series of clean sheets.

“We understand that, if we don’t concede you don’t lose games,” he said. “So we try so hard to work as a team. We start defending from the front to give us the chance of winning the game.”


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