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Take-aways from Bafana’s win over Libya

KickOff.comlooks at three things learnt, or rather reassured, from Bafana Bafana’s 2019 AFCON-qualifying victory over Libya in Sfax, Tunisia on Sunday evening.

Percy Tau is world class

As if there were any doubts. Tau took his tally to nine goals in 16 senior international appearances with a stunning brace against Libya. The diminutive forward is a marvel to watch and proved his worth on yet another massive stage and high-stakes encounter, showing nerves of steel to take matters into his own hands and lead his team to victory. At 24-years-old, the former Mamelodi Sundowns star is yet to reach his prime and one can only imagine where he could be in three-to-four years from now.

Bafana can get a job done

Long since labelled “perennial chokers”, Bafana proved that pessimism can be overcome. Qualifying to a major international football tournament has not happened often in South Africa’s history – more particularly in recent years. Excluding the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, this has been only the second time the men’s senior national team has earned their places at a major tournament in the last 17 years.

Having earlier bottled their qualification campaign with draws at home to Libya and away to Seychelles, naysayers ran amok as they predicted failure in their final AFCON qualifier but have now been made to eat humble pie, while some even rejoice in the victory. Albeit, this is still our national team and, no matter how negative we might have been before, Sunday’s success was a moment to savour.

There is life beyond Itumeleng Khune

Despite their dominance, Libya were unable to get beyond the last line of defence – that being Darren Keet, who put out a magnificent performance and played just as pivotal a role as Percy Tau. With so many having declared Bafana’s goalkeeping department obsolete without Khune, the Bidvest Wits shotstopper defied the critics with a masterful display of textbook goalkeeping. The 29-year-old stepped up when he was needed most, putting his woeful performance against Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations behind him and proving that ‘Itu’ is not the be all and end all of South African goalkeeping, as initially suspected.

Despite their dominance, Libya were unable to get beyond the last line of defence – that being Darren Keet, who put out a magnificent performance and played just as pivotal a role as Percy Tau. With so many having declared Bafana’s goalkeeping department obsolete without Khune, the Bidvest Wits shotstopper defied the critics with a masterful display of textbook goalkeeping. The 29-year-old stepped up when he was needed most, putting his woeful performance against Algeria at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations behind him and proving that ‘Itu’ is not the be all and end all of South African goalkeeping, as initially suspected.

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