Cape Verde head coach Bobista was full of praise of his charges despite falling to a 2-1 penalty shootout defeat against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast on Saturday.
Over the course of an evenly contested 120 minutes, both teams had opportunities to score, but goalkeepers Ronwen Williams and Vozinha each made crucial stops to save a goal and force a shootout.
Then, Williams solidified his role as the day’s MVP by saving four penalties from the Blue Sharks to help his team go to the semifinals. Williams dominated the shootout, stopping kicks from Duarte, Andrade, Bebe, and Semedo to help his team win and make it to the Afcon final four for the first time since 2000.
“Congratulations to South African. We wanted to win the match, but this is football. In my opinion, we had several chances to win this match. We have a good team, and we also faced a good competitor. We had several chances to kill the match, but we were not able to,” said Bobista.
“We had a good journey, and we also deserved to be in the semi-finals. Our people will be happy with what we presented in the competition. We were the best in some phases of this match, and you know in such competitions, when you fail to score it will be complicated, and as for penalty kicks, sometimes there is luck.”
Bobista further defended the players who missed their penalties by saying: “The players who took the penalties are the best in our team, but when you are tired it is difficult. I am proud of our players, they showed their character.”
Prior to Williams saves, no goalkeeper has saved four penalties in the history of the AFCON as he was voted Man of the Match. The first semifinal matchup between South Africa and Nigeria is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7 at Bouake’s Stade de la Paix.