BLOW BY BLOW | Williams shootout hero again as Bafana take bronze

Bafana Bafana's Khuliso Mudau in action with DR Congo's Silas Katompa Mvumpa in the Africa Cup of Nations third place playoff at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Saturday nighr.
Bafana Bafana's Khuliso Mudau in action with DR Congo's Silas Katompa Mvumpa in the Africa Cup of Nations third place playoff at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Saturday nighr.
Image: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

**** - Full time 0-0 - Straight to penalties, which Bafana win 6-5 - ****

Full drama, fully thrilling once again in this superb Afcon, from this fighting Bafana!

DRC edged a mostly even first half, then had a far batter second half, which they dominated. The South Africans looked tired from two successive gruelling matches that went to extra tine and penalties, and this game a third to spot-kicks. But Bafana never gave up in the Afcon, they never gave up in any game, and they have a bronze medal.

Something huge to build on here for Bafana Bafana in this Africa Cup of Nations!

DRC seventh kick - DRC 5 RSA 6!!!!

Meshack Elia saved by Williams!!!!!!! Bafana win the shootout!!!!!! Bafana end the Afco n in third place - their first bronze meda since 2000. Ronwen Williams two stops!!!

RSA seventh kick - DRC 5 RSA 6

Xulu scores!!!

DRC sixth kick - DRC 5 RSA 5

Wissa scores!

RSA sixth kick - DRC 4 RSA 5

Appollis scores!!!

DRC fifth  kick - DRC 4 RSA 4

Mbemba saved by Williams!!!

RSA fifth kick - DRC 4 RSA 4

Lepasa scores!

DRC fourth  kick - DRC 4 RSA 3

Joris Kayembe scores!

RSA fourth  kick - DRC 3 RSA 3

Modiba scores!

DRC third kick - DRC 3 RSA 2 

Cedric Bakambu scores!

RSA third kick - DRC 2 RSA 2

Monare scores!

DRC second kick - DRC 2 RSA 1 

Omenuke Mfulu scores!

RSA second kick - DRC 1 RSA 1

Sibisi scores!

DRC first kick - DRC 1 RSA 0 

Moutoussamy scores!

RSA first kick 0-0

Mokena hits the left post!

**** Full time 0-0 - ****

Congo really dominating that second half, but they could not score. Bafana looking like two successive extra time matches caught up to them. Now it's the lottery!

90min + 6

... the clock goes past the 5min of added time ... and then the ref blows - it is straight to penalties!

90min + 3

Samuel Moutoussamy cross from left midfield falls to another sub, Yoane Wissa, at the far post who volleys wide.


Ball over the top, Xulu's header is poor allowing sub Fiston Mayele in on the left but he volleys wide across the face.


Zakhele Lepasa on for Mayambela.


Mayambela plays one-two with Appollis, through on the right - he takes too long when he should have shot or passed back to Appollis and the angle is too tight, and Bertaud can make the save. Good chance for Bafana!


Another big chance for DRC! A cross in, headed across the face and falls to the right foot of captain Chancel Mbemba, who spoons a point-blank volley over the bar.


Terrence Mashego on for Thapelo Morena.


Ball over the top finds the run of Mayambela, who cannot get the power on his shot to beat Bertaud.


Best chance of the match for DRC! A rare mistake from Williams as a spills a cross - two players, including Banza and Elia, cannot capitalise on an open goal, Silas strikes into the side netting.



Oswin Appolis on for Makgopa; Thabang Monare on for Zwane.


Elia strikes á a free-kick powerfully but at Williams, the SA keeper stopping comfortably.

(Apolpgies for a brief break in the action - your blogger has relocated due to load-shedding).


'... we are back ...

**** Half time — 0-0 ****

A little subdued, as can often be expected from this third-place match, bit teams not really lifting themselves to top intensity. But it was a first half that also ticked over at a decent pace.

DRC looked more up for it and had easily the better chances.

Bafana would like to up the tempo after the break. Perhaps a few youngsters to throw in from Broos, to lift the energy, and who might be hungry to make an impression? 

45min + 2

That's the whistle, it's the break.


Nice srong run the length of Bafana's half by Elia into the box on the right, Siyada Xulu's big intercept clears the lines. 


Nicely-struck from Mihlali Mayambela from on the left, outside the box, but straight into the arms of DRC goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud.


Silas almost through again on the left, another excellent challenge from “Sailor” stops him.


Silas jinks past a few players, can't find a player free as Bafana marking is tight — threads a pass to Banza, who also cannot find space to turn, and the ball worked harmlessly wide and out of play. Better defence SA.


... and back to action ...

Setback for Congo in that break as Spartak Moscow forward Théo Bongonda limps off, replaced by Meschack Elia. 


The customary water break.


 ... and even when Simon Banza gets through the Bafana central defence, a little too easily again, but is well-shepherded by Khuliso Mudau, the DRC player cannot get a decent connection and Williams easily collects.

... what a player Khuliso Mudau has been in this tournament, though, actually, just to take that opportunity to mention it. An absolute superb Trojan from right-back.


... and, as third-place matches can go, this game drifting a bit.


Evidence Makgopa cantering run and blasts well over the bar from the edge of the box. Nice intent.


Bafana have settled. That was a lively start from Congo. Just after that some more solid challenges coming in from the South Africa central defenders and a nice, more promising counterattack from Bafana that eventually came to nothing. But the South Africans more confident now, more foot in the ball. A definite feeling that if they turn on the skill DRC will battle. 


Shew! This central defence? Bafana defence sleeping a bit as an angled pass sees Silas Katompa Mvumpa through alone on-on-one ... Ronwen Williams comes out to close the angles and makes a really good stop. Should have been a goal, really.


... what Broos had to say on the bronze medal playoff, below:


And we are off. Early on Congo on attack — Joris Kayembe tees up Grady Diangana for a shot scuffed wide of the right upright.


.... it's the anthems


There was something of a controversy over the referee appointed.

Initially it was Moroccan referee Redouane Jiyed, who then apparently complained as he felt he should have been appointed for tomorrow's (Saturday final), so was replaced by Malak Tsema of Ethiopia.


And, yes, the teams are in ...

Some changes from Bafana coach Hugo Broos but not wholesale or eyebrow-raising ones.

He goes back to to four at the back from the three centrebacks deployed in the penalties semifinal defeat to Nigeria on Wednesday. It's basically a 4-4-1-1. Could also become a 4-3-3 in attack. 

There are three changes. Nkosinathi Sibisi comes into the middle of the back four as Mothobi Mvala and Grant Kekana are the centrebacks to make way, and Thapelo Morena comes in to operate on the wing in midfield. Mihlali Mayambela gets a first start of the Afcon as Percy Tau sits out a start, also for the first time.

For the rest, it's the tried and tested of the competition. Ronwen Williams is at goalkeeper behind Khuliso Mudau on the right and Aubrey Modiba on the left as fullbacks. At centreback Siyanda Xulu gets another run after a solid showing coming back into the team against the Super Eagles, next to Sibisi.

Mayambela appears set to play out wide in midfield, with Sphephelo Sithole and Teboho Mokoena again the centre pairing, and Morena wide. Themba Zwane and Evidence Makgopa are the forwards.

Interesting to see how this centreback partnership holds up against a physical, pacey and strong-running DRC.

Congo's French coachg Sebastien Desabre made nine changes from their semifinal defeat against Ivory Coast.

Bafana: Ronwen Williams (capt); Khuliso Mudau, Siyanda Xulu, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Aubrey Modiba; Thapelo Morena, Sphephelo Sithole, Teboho Mokoena, Mihlali Mayambela; Themba Zwane; Evidence Makgopa

DR Congo: 6. Dimitry Bertaud, 22. Chancel Mbemba Mangulu, 12. Joris Kayembe, 5. Dylan Batubinsika, 6. Aaron Tshibola, 8. Samuel Moutoussamy, 7. Grady Diangana, 4. Brian Bayeye, 10. Théo Bongonda, 23. Simon Banza, 11. Silas Katompa Mvumpa

Saturday February 10 — 8.54pm

So,after the drama of Bafana Bafana's run to the semifinals in the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast, yes, perhaps tonight's third-place playoff against Democratic Republic of the Congo is something of a climbdown. It shouldn't be though.

After not making the final, this should be Bafana's final. A first bronze medal in 24 years, since the Nations Cup Burkina Faso in 2000 — where South Africa beat Tunisia on penalties after a 2-2 score after extra time — would be some achievement. Just as a first semifinal, also in that length of time, was. It would confirm a competition that, if South Africa reacts correctly, this Afcon performance can be there to spur a turnaround for the long-ailing national team.

Stade Félix-Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan is the venue. Kickoff is at 10pm SA time, 8pm in Ivory Coast.

Your Live Blogger, again, is TimesLIVE and Arena Holdings sports editor Marc Strydom. A qualifier, again is your blogger is not in the stadium but — this time — in his living room in Melville, Johannesburg.   

Arena Holdings and TimesLIVE senior sports reporter Mahlatse Mphahlele is en le Stade, and catch his match report later and ensuing reaction and analysis pieces tomorrow and in the coming days.

Enjoy! It's a significant game and occasion. 

Starting line-ups to follow soon ...