Khune – ‘We must qualify for World Cup’

South Africa goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has praised SAFA President Danny Jordaan for his encouraging words before the team left South Africa for Burkina Faso where they will take the home side in a FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier at Municipal Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Bafana Bafana first-choice goalkeeper and only surviving member of the 2010 World Cup which was hosted by South Africa, the first FIFA World Cup on the African soil, said it was always important for players to receive words of encouragement from the ‘leadership of the country’ ahead of a crucial match.

“Those were words of wisdom from Dr Jordaan and it is now up to us to implement what he encouraged us to go – make the country proud,” said Khune.

On Monday, ahead of Bafana Bafana leaving for Burkina Faso, Dr Jordaan told the national team to know that they were carrying the hopes of the 50 million plus people in South Africa and urged them to give their best when they take to the field on Saturday.

Khune said it was vital for South Africa to qualify for Russia 2018 and spoke on the importance of the team starting the campaign with a positive result.

“It is critical that we start this drive with a good result and the rest will follow. Dr Jordaan spoke how on our day we can be the team to beat but that we need to do that on constant basis.”

Bafana Bafana had their first training session on Wednesday evening at the Municipal Stadium in the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou under floodlights and will have two more training sessions on Thursday before wrapping up the preparations with another evening session at the match venue.

The match kicks off at 20h00 South African time. The team flies out the following day, on Sunday, 9 October and head straight to Durban for a friendly international against Ghana at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday, 11 October.