Khune withdrawn from Bafana squad‚ doubtful for crunch SuperSport clash
Bafana Bafana have been handed a massive blow ahead of their back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde next week with goalkeepers Itumeleng Khune and Darren Keet omitted from the squad‚ the SA Football Association (Safa) confirmed on Wednesday.
“Goalkeepers Itumeleng Khune and Darren Keet have been withdrawn from the squad that will take on Cape Verde in back to back 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers‚” said Safa.
“Khune is down with a chest infection while Keet is suffering from a knee injury.”
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has called up Reyaad Pieterse of Supersport United as well as Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates as replacements.
South Africa take on Cape Verde on Friday 1 September at the Estadio Nacional Stadium in Cape Verde (8:30pm kickoff) and will return home on Saturday and then head directly to Durban for the return leg on Tuesday September 5.
Bafana remain in a strong position to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year as they are second in Group D‚ level on four points with Burkina Faso‚ who are top only on goal difference.
Senegal are third on three points with Cape Verde propping up the qualifying group with zero points after two rounds of qualifiers.
Khune's injury will also give Kaizer Chiefs' coach Steve Komphela a headache after the his captain missed the 1-1 draw away at Bloemfontein Celtic at the weekend.
The 30-year-old keeper missed the trip to Bloemfontein with a chest infection and is expected to be out of contention for Chiefs' crucial Absa Premiership clash against visiting Supersport United at FNB Stadium on Wednesday evening (kickoff is at 19h30).
Asked whether Khune has been ruled out of the SuperSport clash‚ Chiefs' communications manager Vina Maphosa said: “Confirmation of line-ups is done with media one and half hours before kickoff.”
Second choice keeper Brilliant Khuzwayo‚ who started in the draw against Celtic‚ is expected to be back in goals.
Chiefs are desperate for a win to ease the early season pressure on the squad and their coach Steve Komphela after failing to win in their opening two matches of the season.
SuperSport will also be eager to grab their first maximum points after going down 2 – 0 against city rivals Mamelodi Sundowns in their first league match.