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Khanye – Why Bafana Owe Sundowns

Former Kaizer Chiefs winger Junior Khanye says Bafana Bafana owe Mamelodi Sundowns’ experience in inter-continental club competitions for how they have been able to contain a side like Nigeria.

Bafana held the Super Eagles to a 1-1 draw in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Uyo on Friday night.

Themba Zwane scored a beautiful goal, which was cancelled out by Nigeria as they picked a point away to sit in fourth position in qualifying group C with four points, a point and spot ahead of the Eagles after three matches.

Khanye says there is a recent pattern of Bafana holding their own against Nigeria, even citing the 2023 AFCON semi-final that South Africa eventually lost 4-2 on penalties. The iDiski TV analyst also used Zwane’s goal in the qualifier as an example of the benefits from his club’s regular participation in the CAF Champions League.

“I don’t think it’s a plan, it’s Sundowns and compliments that they are playing in the Champions League,” said Khanye on iDiski TV.

“If you check players that played at AFCON, it’s about seven to eight [Sundowns] players. It’s the mind-set of Sundowns players. Check Mshishi’s composure, no player that plays in the DStv Premiership only could have been as composed as he was. To dribble two players and pick a spot for that goal in that composure goes with experience. That’s something he does internationally and this is a star-studded Nigeria team.

“People might say what I’m saying is not true but goalkeeper Ronwen Williams plays for Sundowns, Mudau plays for Sundowns, Modiba plays for Sundowns, Mvala plays at Sundowns, Mokoena plays at Sundowns, even Percy Tau at some stage was a Sundowns player. Even at AFCON most players were from Sundowns.

“So, that means the core of the team plays against the likes of Raja Casablanca, TP Mazembe and Al Ahly. Even Sundowns when they go to that competition they don’t go away to defend and it helps South African football.

“It’s not a joke what I’m saying because even when Spain won the World Cup it had mostly Barcelona players, who won the UEFA Champions League, even Germany in 2014 it was mainly with Bayern players.

“Compliments to Hugo Broos for picking those players even though he was stubborn about that in the beginning and I need to compliment all the players for their mind-set because it’s not easy to play in Nigeria.”

You can view Khanye’s full analysis of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa on IDiski TV official YouTube channel.

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.