Local News 6.8.2016 10:09 am

I turn negatives into positives – Khune

Itumeleng Khune. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Itumeleng Khune. Photo: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune says he is motivated by criticism and always turns negatives into positives.

This comes after his inclusion into the South African Men’s Olympic Team was criticised from some quarters as one of the over-aged players along with club-mate Erick Mathoho.

Khune’s experience showed when he played an immense role in the goalless draw against Brazil on Thursday night to ensure that his side walked away with a point from the encounter. This was the first men’s football match in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Bafana number one had many critics stunned with his great performance.

“I am not discouraged by critics,” said Khune after the match. “Instead, they motivate me to perform even better. I am a professional and I turn every negative into a positive.”

He added that it was a tough day at the office, more so as they were playing in front a huge crowd that came to support the home side, but teamwork saw them through.

“The atmosphere was electrifying, but it is normal in that most of us in the Olympic team play to these numbers and higher like, in the Soweto Derby against Orlando Pirates just last weekend. I believe that my experience helped a lot in the match and the defensive line was very solid because of the understanding that Mathoho, Coetzee and I have,” added Khune.

“I was also very impressed with Mobara at right back who kept Neymar busy all night and did not give him any room to play. We have a very good group of players in our squad and the draw against Brazil will inspire us going forward. Now we have to turn our attention to the match against Denmark and work on getting three points in that match.”

The SA team will face Denmark on Sunday, at Mane Garrincha Stadium. Kickoff is at 7pm local time (midnight SA Time).

There is a lot to play for in this match as Denmark also played to a goalless draw against Iraq.

Brazil faces Iraq in the other group match.

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Chiefs 2-0 Maritz United
Plat Stars 0-1 Baroka
Polokwane 3-2 Highlands
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# Team GP Pts
1 Orlando Pirates 3 7
2 Bidvest Wits 3 7
3 Arrows 3 6
4 Chippa United 2 4
5 Platinum Stars 2 4
6 Kaizer Chiefs 3 4
7 Cape Town City 3 4
8 Maritzburg Utd 3 4
9 SuperSport United 3 4
10 Highlands Park 2 3
11 Ajax Cape Town 3 2
12 Polokwane City 3 2
13 Sundowns 1 1
14 Bloem Celtic 2 1
15 Free State Stars 3 1
16 Baroka FC 2 1