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Bafana Bafana can qualify for the 2018 World Cup, says keeper Darren Keet

02 November 2017 - 13:42 By Marc Strydom
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet. File photo
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Darren Keet. File photo
Image: Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana can qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup‚ Bidvest Wits goalkeeper Darren Keet has said.

The keeper‚ who returned from injury for his club too late to be announced in Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s squad for this month’s must-win games against Senegal‚ did not hesitate when asked if he believed South Africa could beat the Lions of Teranga twice.

“Of course I think we can qualify. I mean‚ everyone said‚ ‘Do you really think you can do anything against Nigeria?’

“And we ended up not just drawing but beating them away‚” Keet said‚ referring to the 2-0 win by SA in Uyo over the Super Eagles in Baxter’s first match in charge in June.

“Senegal are no different. Senegal aren’t as good as they used to be.

"They’re a good side obviously‚ with good individuals. But as a team they’re not as good as they used to be – there’s no doubt about that.

“So there’s no reason why we shouldn’t beat them at home and away.

“I mean‚ at home we should beat them regardless. Away‚ it’ll be a bit hostile out there.

“But I think we’re a good enough team. I think the footballers here are so good we should be able to compete with any team around.

“And it just comes down to being mentally tough and ready‚ and making sure we are also prepared for those games.”

Bafana suffered two crippling defeats against Cape Verde in September‚ then bounced back with a 3-1 win against Burkina Faso last month that has left them needing to beat Senegal in Polokwane on November 10 and in Dakar on November 14 to reach Russia 2018.

Keet said his Kaizer Chiefs counterpart‚ Bafana No.1 Itumeleng Khune‚ made a big difference returning from injury against Burkina Faso‚ and will play a crucial role against Senegal.

“Ja of course. I mean he’s been there for 10 years.

"He’s been around the Bafana team for long‚ so he brings a lot of confidence to the team‚ and a lot of experience‚” the keeper said.