BLOW BY BLOW | Bafana into semis! SA win nail-biter against Cape Verde on penalties

03 February 2024 - 21:15
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Bafana Bafana players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout in their Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal agaist Cape Verde at Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast on Saturday night.
Bafana Bafana players celebrate after winning the penalty shootout in their Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal agaist Cape Verde at Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast on Saturday night.
Image: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

ON PENALTIES: South Africa win the shoot-out 2-1 (after 0-0 after full time and extra time)

Bafana Bafana are into their first Africa Cup of Nations semifinal in 24 years! The last was in 2000. 

Ronwen Williams take a bow!!! The keeper makes four saves in the shoot-out to send South Africa through.

Take a bow coach Hugo Broos! 

SA rode their luck ands then some. Bafana had chances, a notable one to Mihlali Mayambela in extra time. The truth is Cape Verde had many more chances, and struck the woodwork in added time of normal time.

But, through sheer guts, Bafana are through to the semifinal against Nigeria on Wednesday (7pm). Crazy stuff!!!

Fifth penalty Cape Verde (CV 1 SA 2)

Williams fourth save from Patrick Andrade! Bafana win!!!! Bafana into the semifinals!!!!!

Fourth penalty South Africa (CV 1 SA 2)

Mvala scores!!!!

Fourth penalty Cape Verde (CV 1 SA 1)

Bryan Texeira scores!

Third penalty South Africa (CV 0 SA 1)

Modiba's shot saved by Vózinha!

Third penalty Cape Verde (CV 0 SA 1)

Williams saves from Laros Duarte!

Second penalty South Africa (CV 0 SA 1)

Zakhele Lepasa blasts over! 

Second penalty Cape Verde (CV 0 SA 1)

Williams saves from Willy Semedo!!

First penalty South Africa (CV 0 SA 1)

Mokoena scores!

First penalty Cape Verde (CV 0 SA 0)

Ronwen Williams saves from Bebé!

**** End of extra time — 0-0 ***

The game has gone to penalties. Hold onto your seats South Africa!


Referee Ndala blows the final whistle ... it's PENALTIES!!


just one minute added ...


A minute of time left, maybe some added tie, then it's penalties! Any chance of a last-gasp winner?


Passage where Bafana have possession on the edge of the Cape Verde area ends with Mokoena tamely shooting at Vózinha.


Maseko staying off, Terrence Mashego is on ... heading to penalties here.


Maseko pulls up — could be a hamstring.


The South Africans will hope for a less frenetic last 10min of extra time. They still look capable of scoring a goal. The need to look less capable of conceding.


The second half of extra tine is under way. Are you all right out there Mzansi? The nerves still OK? Your blogger is suffering, he is happy to admit freely!

105min + 3

It's the extra time break.


Zakhele Lepasa on for Makgopa, Nyiko Mobbie on for Khuliso Mudau.


Cape Verde, and Gilson, more chances spurned. They wonder what's wrong with their Juju, surely.


Gilson free on the right and drags shot wide across the face.


Huge double chance for SA! 

Makgopa heads a long ball into the path of Mayambela who volleys point blank at Vózinha. 

Ball chipped back in and Makgopa charging in heads downward, the ball boucing over the bar.


Extra time under way.

Zwane has been substituted off, Mihlali Mayambela on.

**** Full time — 0-0 ****

Bafana under the cosh in the second half but hanging on. They look like they can sneak a goal though. Broos will hope his team can show more composure and try to get on top in this half-hour.

90min + 6

The whistle has gone ... we are into extra time!

90min + 2

Cape Verde hit the post ... Gilson Benchimol through one on one with Williams, hits a rocket, the SA keeper, off his line, gets a touch, and the crossbar is rocked!


It's into added time ... the board shows 5min added ...


Maseko wins a free-kick on the left for Bafana.


Somedo gets a head on it, but balloons over.


Sub Willy Semedo forces a foul from Modiba on the right, free-kick to Cape Verde ...


Bafana need to do more than just hang on. They need to get their attack back into gear, and trouble Cape Verde the other way.

The match situation is ripe for a snatched winner for the South Africans, as so often happens when one side misses a hatful of chances.


But no real respite for Bafana yet, and still the South Africans are riding their luck. Rocha teases Modiba on the right and crosses to find Jovane Cabral free in the middle to volley a foot over. He should have hit the target.


This very strange from Cape Verde coach Bubista, as he takes off the man who looks most likely to score for his team, Rodrigues, introducing Bebé.

Strange, and perhaps telling? Bafana would surely be relieved ...


... And having said that, a corner falls to Rodrigues, whose shot is hit into Mokoena.


Crucially, Bafana seem to have fixed some problems in their chape and now they are containing the Cape Verde attacks a measure more comfortably. For now.


No surprise in the first sub from Broos: Thapelo Maseko on for Thapelo Morena.

But will the Bafana coach decide to keep Themba Zwane on a little longer tonight, given the match situation? 


It's end to end right now. Bafana are finding a better attacking rhythm, but Cape Verde's is still better — they seem to find space almost whenever they go forward. But wither team can snatch a goal at this rate.


But Cape Verde still running that Bafana defence a bit ragged as Rodrigues gets in on the left and forces a stop from Williams.


Bafana get some attacking moves going in the final third. After Makgopa played into space on the right, to shoot tamely at Vózinha fro a tight angle, he's in space on the right again but cannot get a shot away the second time.


First corner to South Africa, Percy Tau's ball swung in causes problems for Vózinha, but the keeper is fouled by Mokoena.


A dangerous ball in towards forward Garry Rodrigues, Bafana's defence lookign ragged, forces timely intercept from Wiliams.


Another corner — Cape Verde had 4 to 0 in the opening half — to the islanders almost from the restart. Bafana clear easily. Perhaps if Verde's delivery was better at set pieces Bafana would be even more on the back foot, and even a goal down.


The action is back in Yamoussoukro ...

**** — Half time — 0-0 - ****

It's half time in Cape Verde. Bafana a little relieved to go to the break at that stage after the last 15 minutes of the opening half saw them lap up a fair amount of pressure from the islanders.

It was fairly even at the start, but Cape Verde found a rhythm and turned on the pace as Bafana had to spend the last 15 minutes plus six of added time on the back foot and containing the islanders.

How will Bafana coach Hugo Broos react? His team need more if they are to edge an advantage in the second half.

Cape Verde just that bit quicker to the ball, faster in attack, and more physical in the challenge than Bafana. South Africa need to get on the front foot in the challenge and be the ones closing the spaces in the second 45 minutes in Yamoussoukro.

45min + 6

Congolese referee Jean-Jacques Ndala blows for the break.


A better chance to Cape Verde — they should have scored really.

Left wing Jamiro Monteiro squares across the face for the late run of Mendes, who perhaps should hit it first time but attempts to make space and shoots int the leg of Maphosa Modiba when Williams would have been beaten.


Probably the best chance for Cape Verde, who have a vicious ability to turn on the pace in the final third. 

Ryan Mendes hits a swerving cross from the right with pace that skims the head of Pina, as Bafana half-clear and midfielder Kenny Rocha volleys low past the right upright.


The action is back ...


It's a cooling break ...

Even opening half-hour really. This looks like it can be a 50/50 game. Bafana and Cape Verde both look like they are capable of doing something in attack. Both look capable in defence of mostly containing the other's attack. A breakthrough goal for either might be crucial in deciding this kind of tight matchup.


Mokoena hits into the wall, then blasts the rebound into row 47. Is the star of the show against Morocco trying a bit too hard to do everything tonight? We will find out.


Teoboho Mokoena clattered down after being teed up on the edge of the box by Zwane. It's in a good position ...


As it's hit something of a midfield lull in action, two sides summing each other up and probing more cautiously, below is the blogger's Facebook post from this afternoon:

(Cause for debate? Not really).

I have to admit I'm very confused there is even the slightest controversy at Sundowns, who dominate SA football,...

Posted by Marc Strydom on Saturday, February 3, 2024


Pina showing himself a danger man for the islanders, skips past a challenge and hits a low shot from outside the box wide of the right upright.


Mokoena slips Themba Zwane dangerously into the box in the middle who scuffs a shot wide.


Nice attacking move from Bafana, stroking the ball around on the edge of the Cape Verde area, as Thapelo Morena tees up Teboho Mokoena who has a nice, strong curling shot, though it's comfortably into the arms of goalkeeper Vózinha.


Cape Verde tentatively applying early forward pressure in the opening minutes and earn a corner that Kevin Pina can only get a feint header too, vaguely in the direction of Ronwen Williams's goal. Not quite a half-chance even. Come good challenges coming as Bafana's all-Mamelodi Sundowns defence mostly holds firm.


And we are off ...


The anthems are complete ...


Some of the well wiches for Bafana on social media, including that South African giant of sport, Siya Kolisi and the Boks:


And it's 10min to go to kickoff ... of this huge, huge game for Bafana Bafana, South African football and South Africa. Mzansi, are you ready? Let's get this show in the road ...


Also, don't miss also the all new Arena Sports Show's dissection of the Morocco win and look-ahead to Bafana v Cape Verde.

Clauiee Grace Mpanza hosts analysts William Shongwe , Sizwe Mabena and TimesLIVE senior football writer Mahlatse Mphahlele, below:


With the teams and introductions out of the way, here is some of TimesLIVE's buildup to this game for the reader's perusal as we await kickoff in about 23min now:


Hugo Broos has again named an unchanged starting XI for Bafana Bafana's Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal clash.

Broos kept faith with his XI who have done duty in the last three games in Ivory Coast — the 4-0 group win against Tunisia and 0-0 draw against Tunisia and Tuesday night's 2-0 shock of Morocco in the last 16 in San Pedro.

Bafana XI: 1. Ronwen Williams (capt); 20. Khuliso Mudau, 14. Mothobi Mvala, 18. Grant Kekana, 6. Maphoa Modiba; 23. Thapelo Morena, 13. Sphephelo Sithole, 4. Teboho Mokoena, 10. Percy Tau; 11. Themba Zwane, 9. Evidence Makgopa

Cape Verde Islands: 1. Vózinha, 4. Pico, 23. Steven Moreira, 5. Logan Costa, 10. Jamiro Monteiro, 18. Kenny Rocha, 26. Kevin Pina, 8. João Paulo, 20. Ryan Mendes; 11. Garry Rodrigues, 7. Jovane Cabral

Saturday February 3 — 9.11pm 

Good evening, and welcome to the live blog of the biggest football match of the year for South Africans.

Bafana Bafana, shock and slayers of heroic slayers of 2022 World Cup semifinalists Morocco in the last 16 in Ivory Coast, meet tournament upstarts Cape Verde Islands in the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal at Stade Charles Konan Banny in Yamoussoukro on Tuesday night.

After the South Africans beat the continent's top-ranked team, some would be forgive for believing Cape Verde — actually ranked lower than Bafana (the islanders are 73rd in the world and 14th in Africa, South Africa are 66th and 12th) — will present an easier game.

But many pundits and ex-internationals — including Bafana's 1996 Nations Cup-winning captain Neil Tovey and 1990s Bafana midfielder David Modise — have cautioned in-form Cape Verde might even present a tougher prospect.

To introduce himself, your live blogger tonight is Marc Strydom, TimesLIVE and Arena Holdings digital sports editor, foolishly stubborn diehard Bafana Bafana supporter and football writer of a good 25 years-ish now, and son of the KwaZulu-Natal soil (though he was born in Gqeberha, actually).

A qualification, of course, is that I am not in the stadium in San Pedro, but in the Arena Holdings offices in Parktown. But I will bring you the action, and try to capture the atmosphere too. 

Go Bafana! 

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