One goal conceded: Will Bafana Bafana feel Itumeleng Khune's absence against Libya?

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Goal takes a look at whether or not Bafana Bafana will feel the absence of Khune, who is out injured with a long-term injury when they take on Libya

South Africa is heading into the do-or-die clash against Libya without their reliable No.1 goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune.

Bafana Bafana were dealt a significant blow in their bid to secure their place in this year's Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals which will be hosted by Egypt between June and July.

Khune was ruled out for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign after he picked up a serious shoulder injury and he will now miss Bafana's final Afcon qualifier against the Mediterranean Knights in Tunisia on Sunday.

Darren Keet and Ronwen Williams Bafana Bafana 2018

The spotlight will now be on both Darren Keet and Ronwen Williams as the two options for Stuart Baxter with Bruce Bvuma unlikely to be given a chance due to the magnitude of the encounter in Tunisia.

The two experienced PSL shot-stoppers have big shoes to fill as Khune is not only one of the first names on the Bafana team sheet, but one of the best goalkeepers on the continent.

Bafana remain the only undefeated side in their qualifying group (Group E) largely thanks to Khune, who conceded once in five games and kept four clean sheets in the process.

Apart from his impeccable experience, amazing reaction and incredible anticipation, Khune formed a solid understanding with his defence which is marshalled by captain Thulani Hlatshwayo.

This makes it almost impossible to replace Khune, and either Keet or Williams will have to step up and ensure that they play a role in helping Bafana book their place in Africa's most prestigious tournament.
Itumeleng Khune PS

The two goal-minders have also been part of Bafana’s Afcon qualifying campaign which can be seen as a positive.

SuperSport United shot-stopper Williams, who has been one of the most consistent keepers in the South African top flight this season, will see this as an opportunity to prove himself at international level.

On the other hand, Keet has been one of Bidvest Wits' key players as they push for this season's PSL title having served as Khune's back-up for many years now, and he will be keen to make the Bafana number one spot his own.

Thulani Hlatshwayo Bafana Bafana v Libya, September 2018

Whoever gets the nod from Baxter on Sunday will need the support of the team more especially the defence as the trust between a keeper and the back four is vital.

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The likes of Hlatshwayo and defensive midfielder Dean Furman will have to ensure that the team is organized at the back at all times. 

Open communication will also be important as the keeper should be focused for the entire match as recording a clean sheet against Libya will be enough to send Bafana to the finals.

But one thing is for sure, Bafana Bafana will miss Khune as this has been the case in previous international matches, and the technical team will have to tread carefully to ensure that they analyze Libya and pick the right team to do the job in Tunisia. 

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