Sports - Southern Africa - South africa - Football
Sorry Bafana still have hopes
South Africa keeper Khune ponders his mistakes
Heroic versus Mexico (1-1), sent off against Uruguay (3-0), South African keeper Khune has had an interesting World Cup so far. He hopes it will continue despite Wednesday’s defeat.

South Africa’s Bafana Bafana goalkeeper says he owes the nation an apology for his sending off on Wednesday night.

Itumuleng Khune said "I wasn’t deliberate but I think I owe everybody an apology."

He added: "The guys came to me and said sorry, but I think I owe them an apology as well and to all South Africans.

Khune, who turns 23 on Sunday, was sent off by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, for bringing down Alvaro Pereira in the 77th minute inside his penalty area.

Khune left the field in tears, as did most of the fans long before the final whistle had blown.

At that stage Uruguay were leading 1-0 thanks to a Diego Forlan first half goal.

Forlan took the spot kick while Pereira rubbed salt into Bafana’s wounds by heading home the third goal with the last movement of the game.

Khune says he was disappointed, but there is nothing he can do.

"I don’t know it is the referee’s decision. The game was too quick for me to decide whether the guy was offside or not, my job was to stop him from scoring."

However, while is it all certain that Bafana Bafana’s last game with France would be just to fill full the fixture, Bafana assistant coach Pitso Mosimane says they will fight on.

"We have made life very difficult for ourselves, but having said that we are not giving up. That is not our style. We qualified for the Confedations Cup with four points and the United States got through with three points after losing their opening two matches and then got to the final.

"So we are down but far from out" said a defiant Mosimane.

However, at another press briefing after the game, Uruguay coach Oscar said it is a joke to suggest that his team got a little help from the referee.

"In an earlier press conference I said I never talk about the referees, I talk about the circumstances of the game," he said.

"I certainly can’t agree and I even laugh at the suggestion that Uruguay maybe won this game thanks to the referee, because I think we dominated the game throughout.

"But I didn’t come to the press conference for that, I’m not here to talk about the referee or discuss my colleague’s opinions, but in my view Uruguay won the game deserve” he said.

South Africa now face the real prospect of becoming the first World Cup hosts to fail to get past the first stage of their own tournament.

The defeat was the worst for a host nation since Mexico lost 4-1 at home to Italy in the 1970 quarter-final and there was a good deal of Italian style about the way Uruguay went about clinically and patiently dissecting their opponents.


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dossier : 2010 World Cup

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