Hlompho Kekana of South Africa during the AFCON Qualifier match between Cameroon and South Africa on 26 March 2016 at Limbe Omni Sport Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix
Monday Jun 03, 2019. 13:00
South African midfielder Hlompho Kekana says the national team needs to “make our country proud” at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Bafana Bafana, who will face Morocco, Ivory Coast and Namibia in Group D at the finals in Egypt, have begun their camp ahead of the tournament. The 30-man provisional squad will be cut to 23 before the team heads to Egypt on June 12.
Kekana, who enjoyed another fine campaign with Mamelodi Sundowns and helped the Tshwane club claim a second successive Absa Premiership title, believes SA have a chance of advancing beyond their highly challenging group.
“We need to get out of the group and make our country proud. I think it’s about time we compete in that space,” said Kekana.
“I think we stand a chance, we’ve got the players and we’ve got the technical team that can help us do that. More than anything we want to go there and apply ourselves.
“When I look at the group, I think it’s doable. We can take care of Morocco [in the opening game]. I think we can take care of Morocco, then we stand a chance [of progressing to the knockout stage].
“The Namibians are beatable. We will compete, I have no doubt about it. The guys are hungry.
“I see a team that can take us to the quarterfinals, even the semifinals. It’s easy to talk, but we need to perform. We have pressure to give our people performances.”
Kekana will be hoping to make the final cut for the 23-man squad and play at his first AFCON.