Bafana Bafana “happy” to be underrated

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Bafana Bafana are barely ever mentioned when it comes to contenders for the 2019 Afcon crown, something goalkeeper Darren Keet believes allows them a chance to prove the doubters wrong.

Stuart Baxter’s men secured a spot in the continental showpiece by finishing the qualifiers unbeaten, and return to the tournament – having missed out on the previous edition.

They were drawn in a tough Group D alongside two past winners in two-time champs Ivory Coast and Morocco – who won the tournament in 1976 – as well as neighbours Namibia.

Despite having won the tournament themselves, Bafana are seen as outsiders, even in the group, something that has perplexed the Bidvest Wits shot-stopper.

“I think we’ve got such a good squad at the moment and we’re so underrated, it’s ridiculous,” Keet said.

“But we’re happy with that. We’re happy to be underrated. We’re happy that people doubt us because every game we go out and show ourselves and show what we’re capable of.

“Even the boys that are playing locally. The league continues to grow and the players overseas continue to grow, and when they come back, it mixes things up and makes us better.

“Everyday we train or play a game, we try and get better. So we’re trying to improve, and if other people don’t look at it that way, then we’ll surprise them all.”

Darren Keet

Keet is expected to don the gloves in the tournament in regular first-choice goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune’s absence.

The 29-year-old was instrumental in Bafana securing qualification when he turned in a solid performance in the final qualifier against Libya.

The final squad for the tournament is expected to be announced on Sunday.

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