Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune has called on every player called-up to the national duty to maintain consistency and to play the way they did against Costa Rica ‘in each and every game going forward.’
Speaking after South Africa stunned a highly rated Costa Rican side 1-0 at the San Jose National Stadium on Thursday night, Khune said soon after the final whistle; they spoke as players and asked each other why they can’t perform like that on regular basis.
“The past two games against Senegal and Costa Rica have shown the great talent we have and that if we stay focussed and continue working hard, we can go places. Anyway, that is what we will strive to do going forward; we have spoken about it among ourselves and all of us have the conviction and resolve to take our football to the next level,” said the Kaizer Chiefs agile keeper.
Khune was one of the players who received special mention from Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Nevas for his sterling performance on the night despite suffering from recurring hamstring problems throughout the 90 minutes. The Madrid goalkeeper suggested that for Khune to grow and realise his full potential, he must play overseas as he has the characteristics of a star in the making.
“It is an honour and humbling to hear such words from such a fantastic human being and great keeper. The Costa Rican game was my 73rd game in the Bafana Bafana shirt and my aim is to stretch myself to the limit, continue working hard and the rest will take care of themselves.”
On coming Tuesday’s match against Honduras, Khune called upon all his teammates not to drop the ball but maintain the same intensity as Honduras will come at them with guns blazing.
“Definitely they saw us against Costa Rica and they will try to unsettle us but those are some of the aspects which we have to focus on; that nothing must be taken for granted going forward.”
Meanwhile, defender Anele Ngcongca and rising midfielder Bongani Zungu also got raving reviews from the Costa Ricans, so was towering defender Eric Mathoho and goal scorer Andile Jali.
Ngcongca who earned his 50th cap on Thursday said his move to French side Troyes has seen his game improve tremendously.
“I like it in France because there too many African players who ply their trade there and from a technical and tactical point of view, there is a world of difference between French and Belgium football,” said the hard tackling defender.
The no nonsense defender echoed Khune’s sentiments that it was time Bafana Bafana perform with the highest intensity every game because ‘the country has limitless talent.