Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says he felt the calling of the ‘Almighty’ to honour his call-up to the national team on Friday.
The 30-year-old was forced to wear a protective mask during Bafana’s 2-0 defeat against Senegal, after colliding with Kurt Lentjies during Amakhosi’s Telkom Knockout quarter-final against Chippa United on 5 November.
The South African national team failed to qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup when Senegal booked their place in the global tournament as Group D winners.
Stuart Baxter’s side will now travel to the Stade Leopold Senghor for a dead-rubber clash against the Lions of Teranga on Tuesday.
The Amakhosi shot-stopper admits it was an easy decision for him to risk it all and play for his country, despite recovering from a fracture to his facial bone.
‘Yeah, so having to play with the mask was a risk I had to take because I always put my country first,’ Khune said after the game.
‘I enjoy what I do, I love what I do. For me it was only a simple decision to make on the day of the match, even though it was a frustrating week ahead of the match. But on the day of the match, that’s when I made the decision I will take part in the match and help the team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
‘But things didn’t go well, but I was glad I managed to play and take all the risks because I think it was a calling from the Almighty. He sent me to this world for a purpose, to serve the people of the nation.
‘When I woke up I just felt like I was never injured, even though I was still in pain, even though I was still bruised.
‘But I just had to answer the call from God, who sent me to this camp to serve the people of South Africa. So it felt great to play in the mask even though people made fun of it, but for me I knew I was doing the right thing,’ he concluded.
Bafana Bafana against Senegal kicks off at 21:30.
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix