Darren Keet explains near-costly penalty incident for Bafana Bafana against Libya

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Keet was pivotal for Bafana between the sticks as he stepped up in the absence of long-standing number-one Itumeleng Khune, thwarting The Mediterranean Knights on numerous occasions as they threw the kitchen sink at him.

However, the only foot he set wrong was his leading leg catching Libya striker Mohamed Saltou upon jumping to collect an aerial ball played into his area in the second half, which was deemed a penalty by the Moroccan referee.

After surrendering the 1-0 lead and allowing the hosts to get their tails up in the match, Bafana had to once again dig deep to ensure they do not lose their tickets to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. 

And although it was far from pretty, Percy Tau sealed victory by completing his brace and sending South Africa to their first major tournament since the 2015 AFCON.

“It was very difficult, in tough conditions – the pitch wasn’t the best, but we had a job to do and we went out and did it,” Keet reflected to SAFA.

“So, overall it was a good performance from the team and we’re happy and we’re proud. We’re excited to be a part of this team and carry the nation forward again. 

“I think we’re very happy and delighted to be where we as a team are at the moment.”

Keet further defended his actions, which looked like an intentional lash out at Saltou, but the 29-year-old insists he was merely practicing standard goalkeeping techniques. 

“I’ve gone for the ball, I saw it coming in and I saw the striker coming towards me, so I mean, you’re always taught to protect yourself [as a goalkeeper],” he explained.

“Because obviously when you’re going up with your arms in the air, you have nothing to protect yourself with, so you put your knee up, which is what I did.

“And he [Saltou] just caught my foot and made a bit of a meal out of it, and the referee gave a penalty. It was a little bit unfortunate but it’s part of the game and we did well to come back into the game again.”