Bafana eye redemption against DR Congo

By Michael Madyira

Bafana Bafana will be keen to end their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign with victory over DR Congo in a third-place play-off clash at Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium on Saturday.

After losing to Nigeria in the semi-finals, Bafana are out to finish on a high as they come up against DR Congo, who are also keen to recover after they were denied a final spot by hosts Ivory Coast.

After years of a relationship marked by mistrust between Bafana and their fans, captain Ronwen Williams says the team can now feel the backing from supporters.

“We have been crying for results and hopefully this is a relationship we can build together as a country,” Williams told Safa media.

“It’s possible and we need everyone. We need the fans’ support, we need them to fill the stadiums, we need the words of encouragement.”

Claiming a bronze medal would be a fitting reward for the team, which punched above its weight after arriving in Ivory Coast with little prospect of coming out of their group.

Hugo Broos’s men are now being hailed as heroes and would not want to invite back the criticism they used to endure.

“The team deserved to be in the final but we need to recover and go out there on Saturday to finish on a positive note,” said Williams.

“We have done extremely good work in this tournament. The cherry on the top would be to finish with a medal on Saturday.

“We will be fully focused going into that game. We have prepared accordingly because the camp is still on and we are still wearing the South African badge. We are still in service to the country,” he said.

“We will go out there and take the game seriously and hopefully we can get the bronze medal.”

Bafana will be without suspended defender Grant Kekana who was red-carded against Nigeria and injured wideman Thapelo Maseko.

Pictured above: Bafana Bafana celebrates beating Morocco in the Afcon round of 16.

Image source: CAF

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