By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Ahead of the semi final clash of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) between Nigeria and South Africa in Bouake on Thursday, there are some boxes to be ticked.
One of the boxes is the similar record between the two goalkeepers that will face each other.
Super Eagles’s Stanley Nwabali and Banyana Banyana’s Ronwen Williams both had four straight clean sheets at the tournament so far.
Since the three-time African champions 1-1 draw with Equatorial Guinea, Nwabali has gone on to keep four straight clean sheets.
By that achievement, the South African-based goalkeeper broke a 44-year-old record for Eagles goalkeepers.
He became the first Nigerian goalkeeper to record four straight clean sheets in a major tournament.
He surpassed Best Ogedengbe (1980) and Alloy Agu’s (1990) three-game streak.
For Williams, he conceded two goals against Mali in the first match of the competition.
After that, he has not conceded any goal against Namibia, Tunisia, Morocco, and Cape Verde.
In the quarter-final match against Cape Verde, Williams saved four out of five penalties, the first goalkeeper to achieve that at AFCON.
When the two goalkeepers meet on Wednesday, one will give way as a team will have to settle for a third-place playoff while the other will get to the final.
Their clean sheet records are also at stake in the next 90 minutes and maybe 120 minutes in case of extra time.