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South Africa’s Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams Playfully Touted for Finance Minister Role After AFCON 2023 Heroics

South Africa's Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams Playfully Touted for Finance Minister Role After AFCON 2023 Heroics

Ronwen Williams of South Africa runs to celebrate after saving four out of five penalties during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal match between Cape Verde and South Africa at Charles Konan Stadium in Yamoussoukro, Cote dIvoire on 3 February 2024 ©Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Following a sensational performance against Cape Verde in the quarter-final shootout in Yamoussoukro, South Africa’s goalkeeper Ronwen Williams is playfully suggested to be appointed as the country’s finance minister to “save the economy,” joked teammate Grant Kekana.

Ronwen Williams, the Bafana Bafana captain, showcased an outstanding display by saving four penalties, earning him the player of the match award. His remarkable performance also included a jaw-dropping reaction save against Gilson Benchimol, deflecting the ball onto the crossbar and preventing a last-minute victory for Cape Verde.

Grant Kekana, South African defender, lauded Williams as a “world-class goalkeeper” and humorously proposed that he should be appointed as the finance minister to contribute to the nation’s economic well-being.

Ronwen Williams credited the team’s analysts for their extensive preparation, stating that they inundated his phone with clips of penalties taken by Cape Verde. The goalkeeper, who won the African Football League with Mamelodi Sundowns last season, emphasised that the critical save against Benchimol stood out more than the penalty shootout.

Bafana Bafana, who have not conceded a goal since their opening match, now face Nigeria in the semi-finals. Despite being considered underdogs, South Africa, ranked 66th in the FIFA rankings, have exceeded expectations, overcoming Morocco in the knockout stage.

Reflecting on the upcoming match against Nigeria, Kekana expressed belief in the team’s capabilities and emphasised the importance of a strategic approach. Their last four appearance marks a significant achievement for South Africa, with their coach Hugo Broos acknowledging the team’s resilience and determination.

Broos, former coach of the 2017 AFCON-winning Cameroon team, highlighted the stress of the game and the disbelief from some quarters but expressed hope that the team’s performance has won over sceptics, ultimately proving to be a positive development for South African football.

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