Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune. Photo: Gerhard Steenkamp, BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Bafana Bafana have suffered two big blows in the goalkeeping department as both Itumeleng Khune and Darren Keet will miss out on the back-to-back 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Cape Verde next month.

Khune has been battling with a chest infection which has seen him hospitalised, and has caused him to miss Kaizer Chiefs’ 1-1 Absa Premiership draw against Bloemfontein Celtic on Sunday and Wednesday night’s clash against SuperSport United.

Wits shot-stopper Keet has a knee injury that has seen him on the sidelines, and while Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter had hoped that they would both recover in time for the Cape Verde matches, he has decided to make an early call to replace them.

SuperSport United’s Reyaad Pieterse and Wayne Sandilands of Orlando Pirates have been called up as replacements for Khune and Keet, with Ronwen Williams the only fit goalkeeper from the original squad announced on Monday.

But it remains to be seen whether Baxter will throw Williams into the cauldron of a World Cup qualifier away from home at the Estadio Nacional in Cape Verde next week Friday, September 1 (8.30pm SA time kickoff), with the return leg on Tuesday, September 5 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban (7pm).

Sandilands, who is celebrating his 33rd birthday on Wednesday, may receive a late present in the shape of a start, as he is the most experienced of the three goalkeepers and has eight Bafana caps to his name – although the last one was in October 2015 in the Chan tournament.

The 25-year-old Pieterse has three caps, with his previous Bafana game being the 2016 Cosafa Cup final, while four-cap Williams – also 25 – made his last appearance against Zambia in June this year.

IOL Sport