The goalkeeper has been ruled out of the game against the Super Eagles.
The captain of the South African team, Itumeleng Khune, has said he is unhappy he will not be playing against the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Cape Town Stadium in South Africa.
“I was really looking forward to this match as it is one that will decide our fate in the tournament. I am very sad and disappointed that I will not be playing”, Khune was quoted as saying on the South Africa Football Association official website.
Team Bafana Bafana of South Africa is slated to tackle the Super Eagles at the 2014 CHAN Group A clash on Sunday.
The captain, who is also the goalkeeper, suffered an ankle injury on Wednesday night (January 15) and was taken for a scan the next day.
He tried to train alone on Saturday to see if he could force his way into the team for Sunday’s crucial tie, but medics ruled him out.
Khune, however, expressed confidence on the replacement keepers.
“It is not nice missing such an important fixture for your country, but I believe Josephs and Mpontshane are capable of doing a great job.
“But then again these things happen – injuries are part and parcel of the game and hopefully I will be back in the side for the following match,” he said.
The Bafana Coach, Gordon Igesund, who broke the news to the media, said the South Africa squad still boasts of capable replacements to fill the void.
“Khune will not make it for tomorrow’s (Sunday) match. We will have to do without him for this crucial encounter. We have very capable replacements in Moeneeb Josephs and Siyabonga Mpontshane who I believe will pull us through, but I will most likely go with Josephs,” said Igesund on the South Africa Football Association’s official website.
“Hopefully we still have more matches after this one and Khune will be able to join us. For now his health is important. Rather not use him now and have him available for the latter stages of the tournament instead of playing him tomorrow and losing him for a longer period of time. The risk is too high.”
The Nigeria/South Africa game will kickoff at 6 p.m. Nigeria time. South Africa needs a draw to qualify from the group while Nigeria needs victory.
In the other Group A match, Mali will face Mozambique at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town; as teams in the group battle it out for quarter final tickets. A draw for Mali will ensure their qualification for the quarter final.