JOHANNESBURG – The pause was long, so long that the silence was louder than the words that eventually came out of Darren Keet’s mouth in response to how far he thinks Bafana Bafana will go in the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
The tournament hasn’t exactly been kind to Bafana and the Bidvest Wits goalkeeper. Bafana have missed three of the last five Afcons - and during those editions they celebrated qualification that wasn’t, while they failed to win a match in the 2006 and 2008 editions. The lowest moment was returning from the 2006 Afcon in Egypt without even finding the back of the net.
The quarter-final exit in the 2013 edition, on home soil, papered over the cracks and disappointment that have filled Bafana’s campaign in the continental showpiece. Keet was there the last time Bafana played at the Afcon.
The 29-year-old had a shocking performance in the opening match of the 2015 Afcon against Algeria in Equatorial Guinea. Keet was beaten three times and all those goals, in a 3-1 loss, were soft and showed a goalkeeper not yet confident at being the No 1 of his country.