Injured Itumeleng Khune moved by his teammates

25 March 2019 - 13:25 By Marc Strydom
Itumeleng Khune celebrates a Bafana Bafana goal during the Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier against Libya.
Itumeleng Khune celebrates a Bafana Bafana goal during the Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier against Libya.
Image: Itumeleng Khune/Twitter

Injured Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was moved by the huge dollops of bravery and commitment served out by his teammates beating Libya 2-1 to reach the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Sfax‚ Tunisia on Sunday night.

Khune had to watch the game on a big screen at a function in Sandton due to his long-term shoulder injury.

Percy Tau scored two spectacular goals in the final Group E qualifier in Sfax‚ where the match was played due to the unstable security situation in Libya‚ and Darren Keet was outstanding in goal.

The South Africans produced a stirring team performance.

Coach Stuart Baxter's tactics of employing a 3-5-2 formation – with an all-Bidvest Wits back three of Thulani Hlatshwayo‚ Buhle Mkhwanazi and Sifiso Hlanti in front of Wits teammate Keet – created a solid platform for defence and attack in a tricky away game.

"I'm lost for words. I'm happy for the boys‚ I'm happy for the team‚ I'm happy for the country‚" an emotional Khune said.

"And for us to qualify for this Afcon 2019 really shows how hungry we were.

"We know we've hurt a lot of our people‚ because they say we usually don't qualify for big tournaments. But since we started these qualifications we really showed how hungry we are and how badly we wanted to qualify.

"Playing six games‚ conceding only two goals‚ keeping four clean sheets is a massive achievement."

Tau's goals were scored in the 50th and 68th minutes. Libya had equalised via Ahmad Benali's 66th-minute penalty.

There were other big performances too‚ from Dean Furman and Kamohelo Mokotjo in the central midfield‚ and Thamsanqa Mkhize at right wingback.

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