Two losers from the Semi Final, South Africa and DR Congo will battle for the bronze medal at Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium on Saturday. Both teams have shown resilience and determination throughout their campaign in this tournament, but proves not enough to get them to the finale.
They narrowly missed out from the final showpiece after suffering close margin defeats in the Semi Final. Bafana Bafana of South Africa lost 4-2 in the penalty shootout against Nigeria, while DR Congo faltered with 1-0 loss against Ivory Coast. Either team will now seek to bow out of the tournament with a bronze medal as consolation.
About the game
Bafana Bafana’s journey to the penultimate stage was a testament to their resilience. They surprised many with their resolute defense and tactical discipline. Their path to the penultimate witnessed some epic victories, eliminating Morocco bad Cape Verde in the round 16 and quarter finals respectively. South Africa narrowly missed out on the final after a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat against Nigeria. They settled for a 1-1 draw in the regular period of the game, but South Africa faced adversity when defender Grant Kekana received a red card in extra time against Nigeria. Under relentless pressure, they succumbed in the shootout as Nwabali outshone Ronwen Williams. Nwabali’s crucial saves against Teboho Mokoena and Evidence Makgopa ended South Africa’s dream of continental glory. The disappointment is evident, but coach Hugo Broos has emphasized the importance of finishing the tournament strong. Grant Kekana will be sidelined for Saturday’s match due to a red card he received in the game against Nigeria.
DR Congo’s story is similar. Despite two defeats in the group stage, they rose to the occasion in the knockout rounds, showcasing their fighting spirit. They shocked the global football ecosystem by eliminating Egypt, the most successful team in AFCON through a penalty shootout. They followed this triumph with a comfortable 3-1 victory against Guinea before suffering a marginal 1-0 defeat to Ivory Coast on Wednesday. In their first semi-final appearance since 2015, DR Congo’s early joy was dashed as Cedric Bakambu’s goal was disallowed for a foul on Ivory Coast’s goalkeeper Yahia Fofana. Despite Ivory Coast’s missed opportunities in the first half, they broke the deadlock in the second period with Haller’s spectacular volley. DR Congo’s late efforts fell short, ending their quest for a title since 1974, but the Leopards remain determined to leave their mark. Gael Kakuta made a comeback from injury in the semi-final against Ivory Coast, featuring for just 45 minutes. Anticipation arises if he will take the field in the upcoming match.
While the bronze medal may not have the aura of the coveted trophy, it represents a significant achievement for both teams. South Africa hasn’t secured a podium finish since 2000, while DR Congo last tasted bronze in 2015. The match presents an opportunity to rewrite their narratives and showcase their potential to a global audience.
The Best Betting Odds for South Africa vs DR Congo
This looks like an evenly-poised bronze medal affair, the team that better handles defeat mentally could prevail. With resilient qualities in abundance for both outfits, expect an intriguing contest.
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