Why Ronwen started Bafana opener

AFCON News

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has explained why he picked Ronwen Williams ahead of Darren Keet in the team’s opening Africa Cup of Nations clash against Ivory Coast on Monday.

The Absa Premiership Goalkeeper of the Season, who has at times come under fire for his performances in a national team jersey, got the nod to start the Group D encounter and did not disappoint at all, making two crucial saves to ensure the defeat was not a heavy one for the South Africans. Bafana lost 1-0 at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo.

He denied Jonathan Kodjia with a point-blank save in the first half and then brilliantly tipped over Nicolas Pepe’s sweetly struck free kick in the second stanza.

The SuperSport United shot-stopper may have done enough to earn himself another start for Friday’s clash against Namibia.

“When we played in Tunisia against Libya we played with three centre backs and their strength was playing in lots of crosses. But that was not the Ivory Coast strength. This was a different game. Darren was suited for that game [against Libya] and Darren has been a little bit more inactive. Ronwen was more suited for this game, his shot stopping and his quick distribution would be important. I thought Ronwen did very well.”

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