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We showed a lot of character – Khune

Written By Themba Khumalo on Sunday, January 12, 2014 | Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune says the team showed character to come back from a goal down to win the opening match of the 2014 CHAN tournament.

South Africa conceded a goal early in the first half following a deflection but went on to win 3-1 against Mozambique at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, 11 January 2014.

“It was really disappointing to have conceded a goal of that nature. The pitch was wet so when the ball took a wicked deflection I slipped and it went in. But the players showed leadership by telling me to keep my head high because the goal came early and unexpectedly.

“We all showed a lot of character to come back from that point to emerge victorious. Now we need to build from there when we go into our next match which is also crucial as a win should almost guarantee us passage to the next round,” said Khune.

Striker Bernard Parker scored two goals and was voted Man of the Match for his impressive performance. He has now scored 21 goals in 65 appearances for South Africa.

“Winning the first game of the tournament gives us a chance to proceed and qualify for the next round. We feel very confident from this victory. But it was a wake-up call for us because we started a bit slow and the positive result is a good motivation for the next game.

“We need to continue with the mental steel we have where we fight and compete when we are down. The win has lifted some weight off our shoulders and we can face the next match in a more relaxed mood, but we are aware that this is just the beginning and a lot of work needs to be done so we can go all the way,” said Parker.

Bafana Bafana will play Mali in their next game on Wednesday at Cape Town Stadium. Kick-off at 17:00.

- SAFA
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