Bafana Bafana

Khune: Losing not an option

2010-10-05 14:46
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Losing is not an option for Bafana Bafana in its 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone in Freetown on Sunday night, the team's first choice goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune, said on Tuesday.

"Even a draw is not good enough as we are going there for three points," he said.

"Add the fact we have had a good World Cup and that the bulk of the squad have been together for the last nine months, should ensure a successful trip to Freetown."

The last time Bafana were in Freetown they lost 1-0.

"We have learnt from our previous trip and are better prepared both physically and mentally this time," said Khune, who was in the squad that played in 2008.

"We missed a lot of chances when we lost 1-0 through a penalty," added striker Surprise Moriri who also played in that team under Brazilian coach Joel Santana.

"We also know it will be raining there so we are prepared for that. This time we have to make sure we make the chances we create count."

Khune and Moriri were speaking after a training session at Hyde Park High School on Tuesday.

Khune said he aimed to keep another clean sheet.

"If we do not concede a goal we will be halfway there collecting three points and staying on top of our qualifying group."

Moriri, the Mamelodi Sundowns striker, has been recalled after missing last month’s opening AFCON qualifier against Niger.

Bafana defeated Niger 2-0 in Nelspruit, but should have scored a lot more goals against the West African side.

"If we want to be the best in Africa, we have to win these difficult away games," said Moriri.

He and Khune described as a huge loss that of vice-captain and midfield kingpin Steven Pienaar, to a groin strain while playing for his English Premiership side Everton.

"Pienaar is our best player and we will miss his influence," they said.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs had to stop training on Tuesday when he started feeling dizzy. He was rested as a precaution and would be assessed later.

Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has selected three keepers in case of injury or sickness. The other keeper is 21-year-old former SA under-20 player Darren Keet.

The medical team expects captain Aaron Mokoena, Israel-based defender Tsepo Masilela and midfielder Andile Jali to be fit to play on Sunday.

All three players arrived in camp with slight injuries and all were responding to treatment.

Sundowns' left back Innocent Mdledle, arrived in camp at lunchtime on Monday, after missing the Sunday night deadline.

Kick-off is at 18:30 South African time.


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