Bafana Bafana

Time to deliver: Khune

2012-06-01 14:30
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo)
Rustenburg - Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune said it was time for the national team to deliver the goods ahead of their upcoming Group A 2014 Soccer World Cup qualifier games.

"In the past people have written us off because they felt that we did not deliver," Khune said on Friday.

"But we have a balanced squad with capable players.

"We have Siyabonga Nomvethe, Eleazor Rodgers and Katlego Mphela upfront.

"And we also have good (back up) keepers in Wayne Sandilands and Darren Keet."

Bafana face Ethiopia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng on Sunday.

This is a match that the hosts have to win to the teach the east Africans a lesson, according to South Africa's number one shot stopper.

They travel across the border to meet neighbours, Botswana, in Gaborone next Saturday for a chance to claim consecutive three points.

"They'll (Ethiopians) come here ready and want to prove a point, one of their players (Fikru Tefera) knows our players," said Khune.

"We can't afford to let Ethiopia disrespect us at home.

"When we go to them for the second game (next year), they must know that South Africa is among the best in Africa."
Bafana are aiming at wiping memories of their failed 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier programme last year.

The South Africans are also building towards next year's tournament that will be hosted in the country where the team has to give a good display.

The one positive in the Bafana squad has been their ability to maintain a good defensive record, despite a blunt attack that has failed to complement them.

Bafana will miss injured defender Siyabonga Sangweni, though, for the next fixtures.

In his absence, coach Pitso Mosimane is expected to play Bongani Khumalo alongside Morgan Gould in central defence.
Completing the back four will be wingbacks, Anele Ngcongca and Tsepo Masilela.

Khune hoped that this would carry the outfit in their path to Brazil in two years' time.

"It was not nice watching the Afcon on television," he said.

"But to our credit, our defensive record was good in the qualifiers.

"I think Uganda was the only team to concede less in the campaign, along with us."

In how the team has been training, captain Steven Pienaar, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Thanduyise Khuboni and Siphiwe Tshabalala will feature in midfield.

Upfront, the combination of the nippy Nomvethe and the clinical Mphela will be out to probe the Ethiopia defence.

Read more on:    bafana  |  itumeleng khune  |  soccer


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