“We’re Devastated And hurt”: Bafana Captain Breaks Silence After Defeat To Nigeria

South Africa will be anxious to avoid defeat in Saturday's Afcon third-place play-off against DR Congo after failing to qualify for the final.

Femi Onasanya By Femi Onasanya - Sports Reporter
3 Min Read

Bafana Bafana captain Ronwen Williams has spoken out over their Africa Cup of Nations semi-final loss to Nigeria.

South Africa forced the Super Eagles to a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra time on Wednesday.

Hugo Broos’ men then lost 4-2 on penalties, missing out on a place in the continental championship final.

Williams, echoing his coach Broos’ opinion that Bafana should be in the final instead of Nigeria, feels South Africa earned the victory more.

“Obviously, we still feel devasted, hurt, a lot of pain,” Williams told Safa media.

“But in saying that, I’m so immensely proud of the boys. Day in, day out we showed the resilience, we showed the brotherhood.

“I think this team deserved to be in the final just for the brotherhood we showed and the hard work we did over the last five weeks.

“So, as much as I’m feeling sad, I’m so proud about each and every member of the squad.”

The “brotherhood” stated by Williams might be important for Bafana going ahead, since the team gained confidence with each Afcon game.

This came after they rallied from a 2-0 setback to Mali in their tournament opener before smashing Namibia 4-0 and frustrating Tunisia in a 0-0 stalemate to eliminate them from the group stages, while Bafana advanced to second place.

Beating and eliminating Morocco in the Round of 16 was the pinnacle of their achievement, and they subsequently eliminated Cape Verde via penalty shootout before facing Nigeria.

They arrived in Ivory Coast under fire for their lack of consistency after defeating Benin 2-1 in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, then losing 2-0 to Rwanda and drew 0-0 with Lesotho in an AfCon warm-up game.

Their March and June foreign assignments will be a litmus test to discover if their outstanding Afcon performance was not a fluke.

South Africa will be anxious to avoid defeat in Saturday’s Afcon third-place play-off against DR Congo after failing to qualify for the final.

In March, Bafana will play international friendlies against Andorra and Algeria in preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June.

Interestingly, they face Nigeria away in June before hosting Zimbabwe as they look to maintain their World Cup qualifying and move up to Group C top spot from second place.

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By Femi Onasanya Sports Reporter
Femi is a sport enthusiast, writer and commentator. Passionate about Sports and physical therapy with a flair for writing.