Having said so, Khumalo is aware of the criticism leveled at his defense.
“Playing at this level, you are going to make mistakes, and maybe, yes we did. But we fought like true champions till the end. I can only hope that this is the beginning of great things.
“We need to pick ourselves up now, and start preparing for the 2014 Fifa World Cup because that is where every player wants to be,” he said.
Khumalo said he wanted to extend his gratitude to the fans as well, who gave them a chance by showing belief in the team.
“When we came to this tournament, there was a lot of criticism going around, but our loyal fans showed support. We are as disappointed as the nation for not going through, but I think it is important now to look into the next challenge. We have quite a number of great, talented players in South Africa and we expect a tough competition going forward.
“What is more interesting as well is that the coach made it clear that no one owns a position, so all of us must work hard. Captaining this side has been a great experience for me, because there is a lot of things that I learnt,” said Khumalo