Itumeleng Khune said he was very disappointed not to be able to play in Bafana Bafana’s final group game on Sunday against Nigeria at the CHAN tournament, after being ruled out by injury.
The national team captain however gave his full backing to the other goalkeepers in the squad, and believed they were capable of doing the job.
Khune said he believed that the South African team had a good chance of qualifying for the next round, and while Nigeria were a good team, he was confident they would be victorious.
Khune told the SAFA website, “I was really looking forward to this match as it is one that will decide our fate in the tournament. I am very sad and disappointed that I will not be playing. It is not nice missing such an important fixture for your country, but I believe Josephs and Mpontshane are capable of doing a great job.
"But then again these things happen - injuries are part and parcel of the game and hopefully I will be back in the side for the following match.
“We stand a very good chance of getting victory over Nigeria. We just need to go out there and apply ourselves like we have been at training and in the past matches.
"I have been receiving messages of support for the team from all over the country, fans saying they will be at the stadium and that is what we need, it is a good morale booster to know the country is behind us.
"With that kind of support and the belief that the players have, we should be able to emerge victorious after 90 minutes and go on to the next round, but it won’t be easy because Nigeria is a good side too. We are confident though that we will make it,” he added.
Gordon Igesund said he would rather rest Khune than endanger him being injured for a long period, and also backed the other goalkeepers.
“Khune will not make it for tomorrow’s match. We will have to do without him for this crucial encounter. We have very capable replacements in Moeneeb Josephs and Siyabonga Mpontshane who I believe will pull us through, but I will most likely go with Josephs,” Igesund told the SAFA site.
“Hopefully we still have more matches after this one and Khune will be able to join us. For now his health is important. Rather not use him now and have him available for the latter stages of the tournament instead of playing him tomorrow and losing him for a longer period of time. The risk is too high.”