Itumeleng Khune has new milestone in his sight after 40 Bafana Bafana clean sheets

15 October 2018 - 12:43 By Nick Said
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune applauds the fans after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match between South Africa and Seychelles at FNB Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune applauds the fans after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match between South Africa and Seychelles at FNB Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

Itumeleng Khune will move into outright second place on the all-time Bafana Bafana caps list if he plays in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Seychelles in Victoria on Tuesday.

Khune won cap number 89 on Saturday‚ taking him level with long-time former Kaizer Chiefs teammate Siphiwe Tshabalala on the list of most decorated internationals for SA.

Should he feature against the Seychelles‚ Khune will move into the 90s and closer to the record holder Aaron Mokoena‚ who won 107 caps during an illustrious 11-year spell with Bafana.

Khune might have moved past that mark already were it not for injuries down the years‚ but if he can stay fit he should have no trouble doing so as he keeps a firm grip on the number one jersey for the national team.

He had arguably his quietest international match ever on Saturday‚ when he did not have to field a single shot from the Seychelles‚ catching just one cross and otherwise providing an outlet for his defenders with their back-passes.

Coach Stuart Baxter may be tempted to give a run to one of the other keepers in the squad on Tuesday‚ Darren Keet or Ronwen Williams‚ but he may be loathe too to field an under-strength side on what will be a difficult artificial surface.

Khune‚ who has also captained SA on 21 occasions‚ provides the side with the ability to turn defence into lightening quick attack with his distribution‚ which is arguably among the best in the world for a goalkeeper.

The Chiefs keeper won his first cap in March 2008 during a 2-1 friendly win over Zimbabwe‚ as he too approaches 11 years in a national team jersey.

He has conceded 66 times in his 89 caps to date‚ keeping 40 clean-sheets and has a single dismissal‚ coming in the 3-0 loss to Uruguay during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.


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