ITUMELENG KHUNE says Bafana ‘must just keep going’. SAMUEL SHIVAMBU BackpagePix
BAFANA BAFANA at last healed the souls of the masses on Sunday - and no could be happier than Itumeleng Khune.

Khune was elated that his teammates showed the hunger, iron will and determination to defeat Libya 2-1 and book themselves a place in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

Percy Tau notched up a well taken brace while Darren Keet was colossal for the nation between the sticks. Khune, or course, watched the game as spectator as he is still recovering from an injury.

“I’m lost for words. I’m happy for the boys and I’m happy for the country. It really shows how hungry we were. I know we’ve hurt a lot of our people because they say we don’t usually qualify for the big tournaments.

“Since, we started the qualification, we really showed how hungry we were and how badly we wanted to qualify. Playing six games and only conceding two goals and keeping four clean sheets, it is a massive achievement. We just have to keep going,” Khune said shortly after the game.

Bafana haven’t played in a major tournament for four years now. The last time they participated in a major tournament was back in 2015 when they were sent packing in the group stages of the Afcon during the reign of Ephraim Mashaba. They missed out in Gabon in 2017. Bafana also failed to qualify for the World Cup last year in Russia.

Khune said: “There were a lot of great performances from great individuals. Darren Keet made great saves to keep us in the game. Libya are not an easy team to play against.

“They came to us here in South Africa and they gave us problems. We went away to them and they showed that they can really play but we wanted it more hence the guys performed they way they did tonight,” he added.

Bafana were the last country to seal their berth in Egypt.

“We need to continue to produce top performances like this. It is never an easy task to play away but the guys showed that they mean business. It is always great to show character like we did tonight.

“We’ve been playing well in all of our games. It is just that we are not clinical in front of goals. We’ve been keeping clean sheets, we just had to put the ball at the back of the net. I hope our guys will score more goals going forward,” Khune explained.

The Kaizer Chiefs goal-minder is well aware that it won’t be easy when he comes back from an injury.

“It is always great when all departments are competing and keeping each other on our toes. We will leave it in to the coach. I’ll come back in the field and I will have to work twice as hard to reclaim my number one back.

“Darren Keet did extremely well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps the jersey for the longest period of time because I’ve also travelled that journey. I’ve been a number one for over ten years in the national team. But right now it shows that these guys want this jersey. Competition, that’s what I like. I welcome it with both hands. Darren showed what he is capable off,” Khune said.