Following his heroics at the Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa’s Ronwen Williams received the Best Goalkeeper award on Sunday night.
The awards were dished out after the final in which hosts Ivory Coast beat Nigeria 2-1 to win the Afcon title in Abidjan.
SA skipper Williams was the hero in the third place playoff between Bafana Bafana and Democratic Republic of Congo, with two saves in a penalty shootout. Bafana won the shootout 6-5 as Williams saved attempts from DR Congo’s Chancel Mbemba and Meschack Elia ensured his side won the bronze medal in the Ivory Coast.
Before Elia had his kick saved, Siyanda Xulu converted to give South Africa what proved the decisive lead in the shootout.
Williams also hit the headlines in the quarter-final with a record four penalty saves against Cape Verde, and that also followed a strong performance in the Round of 16 in which he helped keep favourites Morocco scoreless as Bafana claimed a 2-0 win to advance.
The Mamelodi Sundowns keeper Williams received high praise on social media following his exploits at the African showpiece event. Even the Confederation of African Football was glowing in its praise of Williams in saying on X, formerly Twitter: “A savior (sic) for South Africa when needed.”
The Premier Soccer League in South Africa said: “Congratulations to Ronwen Williams. Well deserved.”
Bafana also received the fair play award for their ‘clean play’ throughout the tournament. — IOL.