6 November 2017 – Bafana Bafana team medic, Dr Thulani Ngwenya said he was hopeful regarding the situation of number one goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.
The Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper sustained a facial injury when he collided with a Chippa United player on Sunday during the Telkom quarter-final match and had to be rushed to hospital.
Giving briefing to the media on Monday afternoon, Dr Ngwenya said Khune would see a specialist but remained very positive on the prospects of him being part of the squad for Friday’s critical FIFA World Cup clash against Senegal at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
“In such situations you can’t be 100 percent sure but we all remain hopeful and positive. That is all we can wish for at the moment,” said Dr Ngwenya.
Meanwhile, coach Stuart Baxter said it was frustrating for players to arrive in camp in dribs and drabs but believed Bafana Bafana have what it takes to garner all three points on Friday evening. The coach said while he understands the logistic nightmare of travelling on the continent because of the vast geographical set up of Africa, he asked players to be professional enough and proactive by reporting for duty on time.
A total of 18 players reported for camp on Monday and travelled to Polokwane while Chiefs and five overseas players were expected to be in camp on Tuesday morning.
The five overseas players still to report for duty are Dino Ndlovu, Andile Jali, Thulani Serero, Lebogang Manyama and Keagan Dolly.
The Bafana Bafana mentor said he was not concerned about the return to action of Senegal and Liverpool striker Sadio Mane arguing with or without Mane, the Teranga Lions were very beatable as past results have shown.
“We will plan our game regardless of who is in the opposition team; we will make them uncomfortable on the day and play to win,” said Baxter.
“We need to find the right balance to unsettle Senegal and the issue of Mane doesn’t bother me a bit,’ he added.
The coach said when it comes to skill and ability, South Africa has some of the most gifted players on the universe; the only thing which they need to work on was self-belief.
“We need to give Senegal the respect they deserve but that should be enough; we need to go for them big time,” he said.
The coach said all patriotic South Africans should come and rally behind the team and doesn’t see why this team cannot do the job on Friday.
Tickets are going for R30 and the match kicks off at 19h00.
Bafana Bafana leave for Senegal the following day for the return game which will be played on Tuesday, 14 November in Dakar.