Home Sport PLAYER RATINGS: Bafana went down fighting tooth and nail

PLAYER RATINGS: Bafana went down fighting tooth and nail

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Nigeria advanced to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations after beating South Africa on penalties on Wednesday evening. However, Bafana Bafana can hold their heads high after the heartbreaking defeat.

Ronwen Williams of South Africa clears ball from William Troost Ekong of Nigeria during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final held at Peace Stadium in Bouake, Cote DIvoire on 07 February 2024. Picture: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

Nigeria advanced to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations after beating South Africa on penalties on Wednesday evening. However, Bafana Bafana can hold their heads high after the heartbreaking defeat, and they will need to get back on their feet for Saturday’s third-place play-off clash.

We takes a look at how each Bafana player performed on Wednesday evening.

Player ratings:

Ronwen Williams 8/10

It was another top performance from the captain. He was as solid as ever as he marshalled his defence during the clash. He brilliantly kept Bafana Bafana in the game with a save in the dying moments. Unfortunately, he couldn’t replicate his quarter-final heroics when it came to penalties.

Khuliso Mudau 7/10

He’ll be kicking himself for days after missing a clear opportunity to win the game right at the end. He was good overall in defence.

Mothobi Mvala 7/10

He provided a cool head in defence and hardly put a foot wrong until he fouled Victor Osimhen in the area to give away a penalty in the 64th minute.

Grant Kekana 7/10

Played well. Took one for the team and was shown a straight red card after a last ditch foul to prevent Terem Moffi from scoring.

Siyanda Xulu 6/10

Playing in the heart of a five-man defence, Xulu also didn’t put a foot wrong. Was taken off with 15 minutes to play.

Aubrey Modiba 7/10

Was very menacing down the left hand side. Was very hard to beat, and looked to create an opening throughout the game.

Percy Tau 7/10

A very quiet evening by his standard. The Nigerians clearly did their homework on Bafana’s star forward. He had a number of chances, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. South Africa were awarded a penalty in the 85th minute after Tau was fouled in the box by Alhassan Yusuf.

Sphephelo Sithole 6/10

The 24-year-old Portugal-based “Yaya” Sithole linked up well with Teboho Mokoena in the heart of midfield.

Teboho Mokoena 7/10

Scored the equaliser from the penalty spot after a crazy two minutes which saw South Africa go from 2-0 down to level at 1-1 after some intervention from VAR. Provided a cool head.

Themba Zwane 7/10

How this man has so few Caps at international level is a crime. Sure, he wasn’t at his very best, but he kept the Nigerian defenders on their toes before he was substituted on 75 minutes.

Evidence Makgopa 6/10

Makgopa came close to scoring in the 75th minute, but he had to watch as his fierce shot at goal sailed agonisingly wide.

Substitutes

Zakhele Lepasa: Had little impact on the game after coming on as a substitute in the 75th minute for Themba Zwane.

Mihlali Mayambela: Replaced Siyanda Xulu.

IOL Sport

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