Kekana knows where the net is

Hlompho Kekana of South Africa sends in a cross during the 2014 African Nations Championship match between South Africa and Mozambique at Cape Town Stadium on January 11, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images)

Surrounded by far more attacking options in midfield, Hlompho Kekana’s overall role for Bafana Bafana during their 3-1 opening Chan triumph over Mozambique, and, it seems, for the whole tournament will be a simple one.

The 28-year-old from Sundowns is undeniably earmarked as the Anchorman.

It’s a responsibility made even more important by South Africa’s wobbles at the back through a combination of inexperience – Ajax Cape Town 23-year-old centre-back Thato Mokeke was handed a debut to partner the equally green Buhle Mkhwanazi – and vital if unpunished errors.

However, for a man whose primary work then is rather unfashionable, Kekana’s biggest contribution was spectacular – a 30m screaming thunderbolt that put Bafana in the lead.

“We went behind early and needed to get ourselves back into the game, which we did but it was important for us to get in front so I decided to take the chance,” said the midfielder, left.

“Sometimes those type of shots don’t work out as you plan but I’m really happy that it worked out this time, particularly because the team worked so hard to get the three points.”

It was an inspirational strike from a man who likes netting goals when given the opportunity.

After all, he was the guy that hammered an incredible seven goals during Sundowns’ massive 24-0 cup drubbing of Powerlines about 18 months ago.

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