Bafana Bafana will tackle DR Congo for third place at AFCON 2023 on Saturday, with both sides marginally missing out on the final.
While South Africa played a gruelling 120 minutes that ended 1-1 against three-time champions Nigeria before bowing out 4-2 on penalties, DR Congo was dispatched by the hosts 1-0 within regulation time.
For Bafana Bafana, it was the second game they would play that stretched into penalties. They beat Cape Verde in the quarter-finals, while DR Congo also dispatched the Pharaohs of Egypt via penalties.
As the two sides go head-to-head in a tie preceding the all-important final between the Super Eagles and the Elephants of Ivory Coast on Sunday, how many times has Bafana Bafana and the Leopards met at AFCON? How many times have they finished third?
Bafana Bafana vs DR Congo AFCON third-place finish
Bafana Bafana and the Leopards of DR Congo have clashed several times in different capacities. The two sides have met twice at AFCON and twice during the World Cup qualifiers, but never in an AFCON third-place game.
The first time Bafana Bafana clashed with the DR Congo at AFCON was in 1998. The semi-final clash saw South Africa beat DR Congo 2-1, with Benni McCarthy scoring both goals for Bafana Bafana. He scored the winning goal in extra time to send the Bafana Bafana to their second AFCON final.
— DStv (@DStv) February 10, 2024
Bafana Bafana repeated the feat in 2000, beating DR Congo 1-0 in the group stage, with Shaun Bartlett scoring the solitary goal.
Bafana Bafana could tie DR Congo on the number of third-place finishes at the tournament. DR Congo has two third-place finishes (1998, 2015), while South Africa has managed it once, in 2000 when they beat Tunisia.
Teams with the most third-place finish
Finishing third at AFCON is not the preserve of just the top teams, with winners cutting across the various spectre of African teams.
Sudan, Ethiopia, Mali and Burkina Faso are the only teams to finish third in the tournament, never to have won.
No country has finished third at AFCON more times than the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Nigeria has eight third-place finishes, with Ivory Coast the closest to them on four. The Chipolopolo of Zambia have three third-place finishes.
Bafana Bafana has only one but could double it when they clash with DR Congo on Saturday.
Stats + records war on X😬
Stats are useless if you end up with a runners-up or third-place playoff medal at the #AFCON.
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) February 3, 2024
Find below the table of third-place winners.
AFCON third-place winners
|DR Congo/South Africa
Most AFCON 3rd place winners
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago