BAFANA Bafana soccer goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune believes the team's Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) success to date is thanks to the support and belief of their fans.
Khune said he was convinced Bafana were on the right track to emulate the class of 1996 by winning the Afcon title on home soil.
"We are highly motivated by our sold-out matches in this tournament," he said after a five-star performance against Morocco in Durban on Sunday. Khune was the hero of the night after making countless dramatic saves to help Bafana get a 2-2 draw to qualify for the quarterfinals.
This resulted in some supporters suggesting the hard- working Khune should be given the captain's armband.
"It's not about Khune. For me it's all about teamwork and contributing to the success of Bafana Bafana like all the other players," the modest keeper said.
"The real work starts after qualifying for the quarterfinals. We have raised the hopes of many South Africans by finishing top of Group A."
He said the support, especially against Morocco, had been "inspirational" for the team. "We won't let [the fans] down. We don't want to go down in the history of South African soccer as the only Bafana Bafana that failed to win the Afcon title on home soil."
He said the tournament was proving to be tough, with some giants of African soccer like Algeria and Morocco going home in the first round.
Khune, who is the Kaizer Chiefs captain, said they were happy the goal drought was finally over.
"That was a cause for concern for all of us, but we are finally getting it right.
"It is good to see even defenders like Siyabonga Sangweni scoring incredible goals like the one against Morocco.
"The future looks bright for this team in this tournament," he said.