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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Hlompho Kekana names Morocco as Bafana Bafana's toughest opponents in Egypt

17:28 IST 03/06/2019
Bafana Bafana, Hlompho Kekana
The experienced midfielder is a serial winner and he has now set sights on winning trophies with club and country

Hlompho Kekana may be regarded as a veteran by some, but that has certainly not dampened his desire to win more trophies, both with Mamelodi Sundowns and Bafana Bafana.

Kekana most recently captained Sundowns to a record-extending ninth Premier Soccer League (PSL) title and now he hopes to take that success and influence to Bafana Bafana, who are eyeing a second Afcon crown.

The 33-year-old is part of Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter’s provisional squad for the Afcon finals and is likely to be one of the players on the plane to Egypt

Kekana admits that although his goal is to win a 10th league title with Sundowns, winning the Afcon title would be the crowning jewel in his glittering career.  

“Of course, winning another league title is a target. It’ll be the tenth one for Mamelodi Sundowns, which is going to put another star on the badge,” Kekana was quoted as saying by the Daily Sun.

“Remember there’s one generation that has changed things at the club. We can only do so if we continue producing great performances and win our matches next season.

"But winning the Afcon will be a great achievement."

Kekana, who was instrumental in Sundowns' Caf Champions League-winning season in 2016, believes that the current crop of national team players have what it takes to be among the tournament’s best in Egypt.

“We have players who can take us as far as the semi-finals. The first step would be to get out of the group first,” the midfielder continued.

“It’s about time we competed in the Afcon. The group we are in is winnable. If we can take care of Morocco, I think we will stand a better chance. They are the ones who can trouble us. Namibia are beatable.

“It’s easy to talk, though. We can’t be naive in a tournament like this. We know our limitations, but we’ve got to look at the positives. We just have to work on one goal."

South Africa have been drawn into Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

Bafana will begin their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.