BREAKING: 'Nwabali Vs Williams' Which Of The 2023 AFCON’s Star Goalkeepers Has Performed Better In Ivory Coast? - 247Updates
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BREAKING: ‘Nwabali vs Williams’ Which of the 2023 AFCON’s star goalkeepers has performed better in Ivory Coast?

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As Nigeria and South Africa lock horns for a place in the 2023 AFCON final, much of the discourse has centred around the goalkeepers of the respective teams Stanley Nwabali and Ronwen Williams.
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Both goalkeepers have been outstanding in their duties, leading their countries to the brink of AFCON glory, but only one of them can advance to the next round, which begs the question: when the chips are down, who is more likely to come up with the goods for their team?
Nwabali vs Williams key stats and performances
Cleansheets and save percentages

While both Nigeria and South Africa have kept four cleansheets so far, the most at AFCON 2023, it is worth noting that while Williams has played every minute of all four shutouts, Nwabali’s injury against Cameroon means he cannot be credited with all of Nigeria’s cleansheets.

Although it is unlikely that Cameroon would have found the back of the net with Nwabali present, his injury means that he shares the reward for not conceding with substitute goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.

Nigeria goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali || Imago

The fact that both two goalkeepers share the cleansheet for Nigeria is only further testament to the fact that shutouts are more a measure of a team’s defensive strength than an individual goalkeeper’s excellence, despite what the England FA and their golden glove might tell you.

When it comes down to more individual metrics like saves and save percentage, Nwabali and Williams have recorded similar numbers.

Williams has made more saves per 90 minutes (2.3) compared to Nwabali (2.0), while the Super Eagles goalkeeper has the best save percentage at AFCON 2023 after stopping 90.9% of shots he has faced, closely followed by the Bayana Bayana number one, whose 85.7% save percentage is the second best.
Expected goals prevented

While these numbers appear to give Nwabali the upper hand over Williams, a closer look at the quality of shots that both goalkeepers have faced paints a different picture.

South Africa hero Ronwen Williams || Imago

Nwabali’s 90.9% save success is a remarkable feat of individual goalkeeping prowess, but he has also been helped by playing behind the best defence at the 2023 AFCON. No team has conceded fewer expected goals than Nigeria’s 2.5xGA in Ivory Coast meaning that the Chippa United goalkeeper has perhaps not been tested to his limits.

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Williams on the other hand has been firmly in the firing line from the start of the tournament with South Africa conceding 7.2xGA, the most of any team at the 2023 AFCON.

Despite the significant disadvantage, Williams has managed to keep four clean sheets, more than any other goalkeeper at the tournament, and has prevented more expected goals (3.1xG prevented) than any other goalkeeper in Ivory Coast with Nwabali preventing a respectable 1.8xG.
Penalty shootout edge for Williams

In addition to his incredible feats during normal and extra-time, Williams also has the advantage of a spectacular penalty shootout display to send South Africa through against Cape Verde.

Ronwen Williams has become the first goalkeeper to ever save 4 penalties in a single TotalEnergies AFCON shootout. 🤯🇿🇦#TotalEnergiesAFCON2023 pic.twitter.com/35g7qPeB2D
— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 4, 2024

Williams made an AFCON-record four penalty saves out of five attempts from the Blue Sharks to cement an incredible AFCON 2023 tournament so far.
Final verdict

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While both goalkeepers have been outstanding for their respective teams, it is difficult not to place WIlliams above Nwabali based on the strength of his individual performances.

Despite playing with statistically the most leaky defence at the tournament, Williams has been excellent, rescuing the Bafana Bafana on multiple occasions and also has a tournament record in his back pocket.

Grab This Opportunity Now👇👇👇

    
 
   
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