“We owe it to the nation to beat Burkina Faso,” Itumeleng Khune vows ahead of a must-win game for Bafana Bafana against The Stallions on Saturday, 7 October. The Glamour Boy will skipper South Africa at FNB Stadium in a 2018 World Cup qualifier. Kick-off is at 15:00.
“We are carrying the hopes of the nation. Our intentions are clear – we plan to win this match. It won’t be easy, but we are geared to redeem ourselves on Saturday.”
Bafana have recorded only one point from three matches in Group D of the qualifiers. That point was collected from Burkina Faso away in Ouagadougou in October 2016. Dean Furman scored for Bafana in the 80th minute before The Stallions could retaliate with a 89th minute strike by Banou Diawara.
“We know that they are currently on top of the log in our group,” comments Khune about Saturday’s opponents in a group that also includes Cape Verde Islands and Senegal. “We can’t afford to disappoint the nation. We are playing at home and it is important to dominate and collect the maximum points in our backyard.”
“All in all, we are ready for the match,” declares the Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper. “We are training hard and so far so good, the preparations are going well. We are united and on the same page as a squad.”
“After Kaizer Chiefs, Bafana represents my second home,” Khune affirms after missing the recent matches against Cape Verde due to injury. “I am happy to be back and will do my best to lead the squad to victory.”
Khune has been in fine form, collecting three back-to-back Man of the Match awards for Amakhosi recently. It is important for Bafana to win this match to close the gap with the group’s front runners and also to stay in contention to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“We want to go and represent South Africa in Russia,” concludes the goalkeeper. “The nation must have faith in us and we will not disappoint.”
Two other Amakhosi stars, Erick Mathoho and Ramahlwe Mphahlele, who usually play for Bafana Bafana as well, are not in the national team squad, due to respectively suspension and injury.