Khune theatrics over
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Itumeleng Khune insists that his infamous theatrics, that led to national criticism during his last appearance for South Africa, are now a thing of the past.
The Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper was criticised heavily for time-wasting tactics during Bafana Bafana’s African Nations Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone last October.
Khune, who is in Durban preparing for Wednesday’s international friendly against Senegal at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, fell to the ground in pain and ate up valuable time as Pitso Mosimane’s men thought a 0-0 draw would put them through to the tournament.
After the final whistle, he led celebrations, which turned out to be premature, as the South Africans lost out to Niger at the Mbombela Stadium.
"I have (moved on), even though people are still talking about it," Khune said on Tuesday. "People have been criticising me, but life goes on. For me it’s water under the bridge. I’m living with it and whenever I am getting the opportunity, I will give my best. Even in that game I did my best. You have to show character as a player and move forward."
Khune said the team's plan for the next 12 months was to score many more goals and he had set his sights on helping them climb to the top of the African football ladder.
"We come into this game looking for a win. We need to pull up our socks and win the game for the nation. They’ve been behind us from before the World Cup. We need to score more goals. We have a very good team, a very young team.
"We are gunning to become the number one team in Africa, if not then be in the top five, and maybe the top 50 in the world. It’s important to get a confidence booster because there are no more friendlies going into World Cup qualification. If we can win this it will be a big boost for the team."
The Chiefs captain had been sidelined for close to three months with a knee injury prior to his return to his spot between the posts earlier this month. He says he is now fully recovered and welcomes the competition for places in the national squad.
"It’s been frustrating to have been out for the past three months, but now I’m back and I know Wayne (Sandilands) and Moeneeb (Josephs) have been doing well for their respective teams, and they’ve done wonders even when selected for the national team."