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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon 2019: Rowen Williams hails South Africa's mental strength after massive win over Egypt

11:20 SAST 2019/07/07
Egypt v South Africa Ronwen Williams - July 2019
The 27-year-old player hailed Bafana's near-perfect performance against the Pharaohs, who were stunned by the 1996 Afcon winners

South African goalkeeper Ronwen Williams says their mental strength was vital against Egypt on Saturday night.

Bafana Bafana pulled off the unthinkable to upset hosts Egypt to progress to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) quarter-finals.

The Southern African giants went into the encounter as the underdogs having sneaked into the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

"It is an amazing feeling. We believed that this was coming and we knew that we had this in us. We knew that we did not play well in our previous games," Williams told the media.

"We were ready. We were mentally prepared. We are a very good team and we need to believe in ourselves more.  This was a perfect performance from us.

The SuperSport United shot-stopper explained that they will remain humble and focus on their upcoming quarter-final clash with Nigeria, who stunned Cameroon on Saturday evening.

"It was not easy with all the support against us and obviously their star players. But we played as a team and we are happy and proud," he added.

"It was a big effort from the boys. We [will] stay humble and move on to the next one.

The reigning PSL Footballer of the Season Thembinkosi Lorch finally made his first appearance in the tournament and he scored the goal which earned Bafana a massive win over record seven-time Afcon champions Egypt.

Williams, who was named PSL Goalkeeper of the Season last season, stated that there was no need for South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter to motivate the players ahead of their highly-anticipated clash.

"You don't have to sync up anyone. The occasion itself is a big one. The coach did not have to motivate us. Everyone was looking forward to the game - we could not wait," he revealed.

"It was a long wait to play. We did not have to sync him up. He is a quality player. He showed it in the PSL last season. So, I am glad. This is going to do our confidence good as well as his."

South Africa will take on three-time Afcon champions Nigeria at the Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday.