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‘Bafana players looked scared’: Nwabali relives AFCON clash

Reliving his heroic moments against SA at AFCON, Chippa United and Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali has made a bold claim about Bafana Bafana players, including Ronwen Williams.

Hugo Broos’ men suffered a heartbreak, losing to Nigeria via the penalty shootouts in the semi-finals as the two sides couldn’t be separated within the 120-minute battle which ended 1-1.

Nwabali denied two penalties of Bafana – Teboho Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa to propel the West African side to the final where they lost to the hosts Ivory Coast.

Heading to the encounter against Nigeria, Ronwen Williams had saved four spot-kicks against Cape Verde to put SA into the last four. 

And while many foresaw him repeating his heroics against Jose Peseiro’s troops, Nwabali says he was confident that Nigeria was going to come out victorious should the match go to penalties.

He also claimed that Bafana players were “scared” when taking penalties against him, saying he wasn’t surprised by Mokoena and Makgopa’s misses.


“When we went to penalty shootouts against South Africa, my coaches said Nigeria were going to win because they know me,” said Nwabali in an exclusive interview with FARPost.

“People didn’t know me. Only a few teams in South Africa knew that when you go to penalty shootouts against Stanley, it’s gone. You’re finished; just forget about the game. You must give me the man of the match because I will save a lot.

“A lot of Bafana Bafana guys didn’t know me. But maybe they might have seen in the video analysis or asked questions back in South Africa.

Stanley Nwabali relives AFCON clash against Bafana Bafana
Victor Osimhen and Stanley Nwabali – Picture by Africa Cup of Nations

“If you look at the eyes of the Bafana Bafana players, they looked scared. If you watched the game and you look at their eyes when taking a penalty against me, they looked scared.

“So, when you’re not confident enough to stand, I know you’re going to fumble in the penalty. I was not surprised by Mokoena’s miss, and I was not surprised by Makgopa’s miss.

“So, these teams like Polokwane, Sekhukhune, Stellenbosch, they know that if you go to penalties with me, it’s finished.

“I’m not praising myself, I always want to keep quiet because I know what I can do.”

The Chilli Boys shot-stopper praised Williams for his abilities to keep out the penalty spot kicks but he feels they cannot be compared.


He continued, “So when we went to penalties walking with Ronwen Williams to the [goals], I just said to myself, ‘This is the end of the road for you guys, sorry my friend.’

“Everyone thought Williams would save against Nigeria. Even the Nigerians were scared. You saw after a loss against Nigeria, he succeeded again against DR Congo. 

“Ronwen Williams is good on penalties, but I’m not comparing him with myself because I know what I can do. I’m only talking about penalties, when you go to penalties with me, I don’t think I’m going to lose.”

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