Ronwen Williams is Bafana Bafana hero in penalty win

Ronwen Williams is Bafana Bafana hero in penalty win
Photo by Icon Sport

The Blue Sharks and Bafana Bafana took to the pitch for the last semi-final ticket following the 2-1 of the hosts over the Eagles of Mali.

The Bafana Bafana manager, Hugo Broos, started Thapelo Morena, while Bubista made two changes to his starting eleven, including keeping Bebe on the bench.

Bafana Bafana came into the game knowing Cape Verde had never played an AFCON game that ended in extra time or penalties.

Both sides already knew their opponent in the semi-final. A win for either side pitches them against three-time winners Nigeria. The Super Eagles had beaten the Palancas Negras of Angola to book their semi-final spot.

A win by either side will see them go ahead in the head-to-head ratings, as they have two wins apiece.

Bafana Bafana secured a date against the Super Eagles after Ronwen Williams emerged the hero in a 2-1 penalty win over Cape Verde after the game ended goalless.

Bafana Bafana in dour first half against the Blue Sharks

Bafana Bafana v Blue Sharks
Photo by Icon Sport

The Cape Verde vs South Africa tie started cautiously, with both sides sizing each other up, but Bafana Bafana gradually warmed into the game.

The early exchanges produced few chances, but Bafana Bafana started to assert themselves in the game. The first shot on target came in the 10th minute. Mokoena hit a fierce shot saved by the goalkeeper.

The Blue Sharks were no pushovers, and they made sure to be in the faces of the Bafana Bafana players and drew fouls as the South African side closed them down quickly.

Hugo Broos' side probed, and what should have been a goal in the 14th minute saw Themba Zwane hit a weak shot inside the box that was wayward.

Cape Verde showed South Africa they didn’t get to the quarter-final by chance. In the 17th minute, Ryan Mendes saw his shot crawl inches wide of goal.

Bafana Bafana dominated play, forcing the Blue Sharks into their area, but Cape Verde occasionally broke forward to test the South African defence.

With about 25 minutes played, the game had yet to produce anything close to excitement as the Blue Sharks defended doggedly, closing spaces.

South Africa got a chance to go into the lead in the 29th minute, but Mokoena’s freekick from just outside the box was into the wall, with the rebound way off target.

Bafana Bafana were far off the form that saw them defeat the Atlas Lions of Morocco 2-0.

After thirty minutes, the game could be described as dour, as both sides did not produce much. The Blue Sharks had not gotten any shot on target, with Bafana Bafana showing more impetus in attack.

In the 36th minute, Cape Verde came up with their first real test, but shooting profligacy denied them a goal.

In the 40th minute, Cape Verde carved open the South African defence again but could not get their feet under them, and Mendes' saw his shot deflected, failing to test Ronwen Williams.

A dour first half ended with drama as Percy Tau got into an entanglement with Kenny Rocha that saw the Cape Verde player go down, but the referee did not make of the issue, and Tau got off with a warning.

The first half ended 0-0, matching the pre-match predictions.

Cape Verde failed to score against a listless Bafana Bafana

Cape Verde createdmore chances against Bafana Bafana
Photo by Icon Sport

Cape Verde started the second half with the first attack and won the first corner kick, but nothing came of it.

The Blue Sharks had another chance a minute later, but the Bafana Bafana defence rallied quickly to smother what looked like a slam dunk goal for Cape Verde.

The Blue Sharks kept on the early pressure but found the South African defence hard to crack.

In the 53rd minute, Bafana Bafana had a solid opportunity to score. After a beautiful build-up play, Makgopa shot straight at the goalkeeper.

The second half was opening up, as both sides became more adventurous as they sought the first goal.

In the 56th minute, Garry Rodrigues was through on goal, but he hit a tame shot straight at Williams for their first shot on target.

Rodrigues was again with a shot off a corner kick in the 70th minute, but his shot took a deflection and went out for another corner kick.

South Africa was under the cush as the Blue Sharks got two chances within the minute. In the 78th minute, Rocha saw his shot blocked, and the rebound into the box saw Jovane Cabral’s snapshot sail inches over the bar.

Bafana Bafana struggled to create chances and looked gassed out as the game came close to the end.

Cape Verde had a glorious chance to win the game in added time when substitute Gilson Tavares received a pass and through on goal but saw his shot parried against the upright by Williams.

It was the game's best chance as it ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.

A listless extra time and dramatic shootout

South opened the second half with two fantastic chances in the first minute, but goalkeeper Vozinha made a double save to keep the Blue Sharks in the game.

He threw his body at a Mihlali Mayambela shot, then parried a Makgapo header for a corner kick.

On the other end, Gilson broke through the South African defence, but his shot sailed across the face of goal.

Gilson gave South Africa plenty of headache, but his marksmanship was questionable as he missed another opportunity ten minutes into extra time.

The most notable event of extra time was Thapelo Maseko, who pulled up with a hamstring injury with six minutes left to play.

Extra time ended all square, with both teams having to settle issues via penalties.

In the penalty shootout, South Africa cruised to the semi-final with Ronwen Williams saving four penalties to give Bafana Bafana a 2-1 win.

Cape Verde v South Africa Stats
  Cape Verde South Africa
Shots on target 2 6
Shots off target 15 5
Blocked Shots 7 2
Possession (%) 54 46
Corner Kicks 10 4
Offsides 1 2
Fouls 18 13
Throw ins 17 16
Yellow cards 1 0
GK saves 6 2
Goal kicks 12 19

This article was most recently revised and updated 3 weeks ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.