South Africa claimed third place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday night following a penalty shoot-out victory over the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The match at the Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan ended 0-0 after 90 minutes and went straight to the spot-kick session.
DRC had a chance to win it with their fifth kick, but South Africa goalkeeper Ronwen Williams plunged to his right to parry Chancel Mbemba's effort.
That made it four apiece. The next three shots were successfully converted but Williams saved Meshack Elia's attempt to spark celebrations among the South Africans.
"The players have given everything," said DRC coach Sebastien Desabre. "But we are fourth and not third because we did not convert our chances and penalties are always a lottery."
His side squandered a plethora of opportunities in the second half that would have made penalties an irrelevance.
With five minutes remaining, substitute Fiston Mayele burst into South Africa penalty from the left and fired a shot past Williams, but also the other side of his lefthand post. Soon after Yoanne Wissa missed the target when he cut in from the right.
"We need to work on things," added Desabre. "When I look at my players I know they are doing their utmost and have the desire to do well so there are always chances to improve.
"I'm sure the Congolese people are proud of their team. We've done more good things than bad things."
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