Bafana Bafana end their AFCON 2024 campaign on a high

South Africa's Bafana Bafana finished their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024) campaign with a place on the podium after defeating DR Congo 6-5 on penalties in the third-place game at the Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.

In a game of little chances, the first half was cagey and while South Africa had more of the possession, it was the DRC that had more of the clear-cut chances.

Ronwen Williams was called into action early in the game as he saved twice from the DRC attack as the Leopards took the initiative to Bafana Bafana.

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Bongonda goes off injured

DRC lost Theo Bongonda through injury midway into the first half and was replaced by Meshack Elia. Even though Elia added more bite to the DRC attack, they could not breach Bafana Bafana’s defence.

Eividence Makgopa found himself some space in the DRC but could not keep his shot down as both sides went in search of the opening goal.

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Mayambela had probably South Africa’s best chance of the first half when he found space in the DRC area. However his shot was easily gathered by Dimitry Yaka.

Siyanda Zulu then had to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent Simon Banza from putting the Leopards ahead in added time of the first half after a brilliant run by Meshack Elia.

Samuel Moutoussamy then hit another chance over the bar as the DRC finished the first half the stronger of the two sides

The DRC came out quicker off the blocks in the second half making incursions into the South Africa defence but didn’t make headway.

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Nothing to separate both teams

In the 50th minute, DRC striker Simon Banza raced into a pass but blazed his shot over the bar and then two minutes later, Grady Diangana let fly from 25 yards as the DRC assumed ascendancy

Ronwen Williams then made harsh of a routine save by dropping the ball as he ran to pluck it from the air. It fell to Elia who squared it back into the box but Silas, whom the ball eventually fell to, hit the side netting.

DRC skipper Chancel Mbemba then had a glorious chance to put his side ahead in the 74th minute but with the goal at his mercy, he blazed wide.

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It was back and forth between the two sides with DRC having the better chances but none could break the deadlock as the game went straight to penalties at the end of regulation time.

Teboho Mokoena and Chancel Mbemba missed the respective penalties for South Africa and DR Congo as they went to sudden death.

Siyanda Zulu stepped to score as DR Congo's Meshack Elias missed his, handing victory to South Africa.

South Africa XI

Ronwen Williams, Khuliso Mudau, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Thapelo Morena, Siyanda Xulu Aubrey Modiba, Teboho Mokoena, Sphephelo Sithole, Themba Zwane, Mihlali Mayambela, Evidence Makgopa 

DR Congo XI

Dimitry Betraud Yaka, Brian Bayeye Kifutu, Chancel Mbemba, Dylan Batubinsika, Joris KayembeDitu, Samuel Moutoussamy, Aaron Tshibola Grady Diangana, Theo Bongonda, Silas Mvumpa Katompa, Simon Banza 

Bafana Bafana end their AFCON 2024 campaign on a high
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.