Khune all set for Bafana milestone
Posted: 16 October 2018 Time: 12:00
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune is set to make history when he runs out to face Seychelles on Tuesday afternoon.
Khune is due to become the second-most capped Bafana player, overtaking former Kaizer Chiefs teammate Siphiwe Tshabalala (89) and trailing only Aaron Mokoena (107) in the rankings, after being named in the starting line-up to collect his 90th senior international cap today.
Bafana take on Seychelles in the return leg of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Group E qualifier at the Stade Linite at 15h30 (SA time), with a victory taking them to within touching distance of the final showpiece to be hosted in Cameroon next year.
Khune’s longevity as ‘Mzansi’s number one’ has been impressive as he continues to prove his staying power at the highest level for over a decade now, and the former skipper hopes to continue to reach new heights in the green and gold.
“Actually, even on my social platforms, I’ve been keeping track of my caps and the number of clean sheets I’ve kept,” said Khune.
“I’m humbled and very grateful for everyone who has played a part in my career and helping me reach this milestone. I just want to continue working hard and reaching other milestones in the national team jersey.”
The current crop of players achieved its own milestone over the weekend when they romped to a 6-0 defeat of The Pirates at the FNB Stadium, but ‘Itu’ has stressed the importance of staying grounded and making sure they repeat the performance in the return leg this afternoon.
“We just have to keep our feet firmly on the ground and not take anything for granted. Yes, we were playing at home and won comfortably, but going away we must all be aware that things will be totally different,” he added.
“We just have to know that it’s not going to be easy, we have to fight for this victory.”
With Nigeria having beaten Libya 4-0 over the weekend, Bafana lead the group with seven points while the Super Eagles are now in second position with six points.
Khune thus pointed out that only four points are now needed from their remaining three games, with three more against Seychelles making qualification all the more easy.
“According to our calculations, we’re four points away from qualifying out of the possible nine, but it’s possible that we can go for all nine. So, we’ll push for all of them and not settle for just four,” concluded the 31-year-old.