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PSL goalkeepers stand tall at Afcon

By Michael Madyira

South Africa’s Premier Soccer League goalkeepers have taken their best game to the grand stage of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals.

Seven PSL goalkeepers graced the continental competition with Bafana Bafana having captain Ronwen Williams, Ricardo Goss and Veli Mothwa.

Orlando Pirates shot-stopper Richard Ofotri captained Ghana in all their three group games although they suffered an early exit after conceding six goals.

Chippa United’s Stanley Nwabali has transformed himself into Nigeria’s number-one goalkeeper and let in just one goal in three group matches.

Another Chippa United goalkeeper, Lloyd Kazapua, retrieved the ball from the back of the net four times but Namibia still progressed to the Round of 16.

Sekhukhune United’s Ali Badra Sangare is yet to feature for hosts Ivory Coast but has always been a regular member of the Elephants.

While the PSL can be commended for providing several goalkeepers to Afcon, former Bafana custodian, Brian Baloyi, remains critical and is not convinced by the shot-stoppers.

“Playing regularly for your country doesn’t mean that you are a quality goalkeeper,” Baloyi told Scrolla.Africa.

“You can play but you may not be a quality keeper. We have to measure their quality by how they are performing. We have always had foreign goalkeepers in South Africa. I can mention [William] Okpara, Eshele Botende and the late Denis Onyango.

“The current guys haven’t proven themselves. Yes, Ofori is playing for Ghana and doing well but he is sitting on the bench at Pirates at number three.”

Interestingly, Ofori is yet to play a single PSL match this season as he falls behind Sipho Chaine and Melusi Buthelezi.

Kazapua has been in the shadow of Nwabali but is trusted by Namibia coach Collin Benjamin.

Baloyi looks beyond the goalkeeping situation in his analysis of PSL players at Afcon.

“To be honest, the best players on the continent are not coming to South Africa like before,” he said.

He said they used to have players using the PSL as a springboard to Europe. “The question is, do we have the best players on the continent? No,” he said.

“I’m looking at how much easier it is today to play in Europe than it was to come to the PSL. Even in our Bafana team we only have three players that are playing outside the country. I’m not criticising the players or the standard of our football. These are just questions we need to ask ourselves.”

The focus is now on how the PSL goalkeepers will fare in the knockout phase of Afcon.

Pictured above: Ghana and Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

Image source: Ghana Football Association