AFCON Preview - South Africa v Angola
As South Africa prepares for Wednesday's AFCON match against Angola, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune believes that he, and every other member of the team, will have their part to play as Bafana Bafana aim to put behind them the demons of the last tournament in Egypt two years ago.
Bafana Bafana did not progress past the pool stages in Egypt, but their departure was even more embarrassing after failing to score a single goal in three matches.
"We are really looked at as the underdogs of the group and this is the way we would prefer it," Khune told the official Chiefs website this week. "Playing against teams who know little about you while you know much more about them, puts us in a very advantageous position."
He added: "We do not have the same kind of pressure that Senegal, Tunisia and Angola are under and that will allow us to play with more ease and I am confident that we can find the results which will take us through to the next round."
Khune will deputise for Moeneeb Josephs on Wednesday in Tamale and even though he might not get any game time in Ghana, Khune feels that he has already played his part in ensuring that Bafana Bafana does its nation proud.
"Any player in the team can be called upon at any time the nature of football is such that players get injured and others have to come in and replace them," he said.
"I am on the bench on Wednesday and I have been pushing hard during training and the other 'keepers know that I am hungry for an opportunity to play. If I show my willingness to fight then the other guys will naturally lift their game which will create healthy competition amongst us and in the end the team will be the major beneficiary as all the 'keepers will be on top of their games," he concluded.
Meanwhile, Rowen Fernandez, South Africa's first-choice goalkeeper, will miss Wednesday's match against Angola because of a fractured finger.
Fernandez suffered the injury while warming up ahead of last Wednesday's pre-AFCON friendly against Botswana in Durban - a game won 2-1 by the hosts, who also beat Mozambique a few days before.
He is expected to take his number spot when South Africa takes on Tunisia on Sunday, January 27.