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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Bafana defender Kekana praised by EFF leader Malema despite semifinal loss

'Well done my boy. A soldier must die with his boots on,' the EFF leader wrote.

Following his outstanding performance for Bafana Bafana in the semifinal clash against Nigeria at the Caf Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), Grant Kekana got praise from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, describing the defender as a soldier.

READ MORE: Broos ‘very proud’ despite Bafana heartbreak in AFCON semifinal

Bafana lost the match 2-1 on penalties after playing to a 1-1 draw after extra time at the Stade la Paix de Bouake on Wednesday, with Kekana having received a red card late in the game after fouling Terrem Moffi, who was running through on goal.

The Mamelodi Sundowns player resorted to taking the Super Eagles attacker down before he got one one-on-one with the goalkeeper, causing a free-kick just outside the box – which was subsequently saved by Ronwen Williams.

Kekana put up an outstanding all-round performance, defending with heart and no little skill to keep the Super Eagles at by.

“Well done my boy. A soldier must die with his boots on,” the EFF leader wrote on X (previously known as Twitter).

‘My president’

The 31-year-old Kekana responded with just two words to the politician, showing appreciation and thanks emojis.

“My president,” the Bafana player wrote.

The Downs defender was left out of the team in their opening match of the tournament against Namibia, with coach Hugo Broos opting to go with the partnership of Mthobi Mvala and Siyanda Xulu.

Kekana was brought into the starting line-up in the second game against Namibia, forming a formidable partnership with his Sundowns teammate Mvala at center back for the South African national team.

The two played all the games together from the Namibia clash onwards, and managed to keep a clean sheet in four games, and only conceded via a penalty in the Super Eagles match, though they were also joined by Xulu in a back five against Nigeria.

READ MORE: Bafana v Nigeria player ratings after dramatic Afcon semifinal

Kekana is now suspended and will miss Bafana’s last game when they take on Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the third/fourth place play-off match at Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on Saturday.

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