For almost a decade, Itumeleng Khune was Kaizer Chiefs’ undisputed No 1.
But lately, the veteran goalkeeper has been the main culprit with a series of costly errors.
The former Bafana Bafana No 1 has come under fire for the blunder that he committed against AmaZulu on Wednesday afternoon in a DStv Premiership match at FNB Stadium with Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt admitting that the goalkeeping situation at the club is a big concern.
Khune’s glaring error proved to be the difference between Amakhosi and ‘Usuthu’ as he failed to deal with a square-ball, punching the ball high up in the air which fell to his former teammate Lehlohonolo Majoro who scored to secure a 2-1 win for his side.
“It is a big concern [goalkeeping department], yes since I have been here. It is something we just have to keep working on and hopefully, we can improve,” said Hunt when asked about Khune’s latest blunder.
Chiefs first-choice keeper in Daniel Akpeyi has also made some high-profile mistakes since joining the club in 2019 from Chippa United. And goalkeepers’ recent failures have left several Chiefs fans sceptical with both Khune (12) and Akpeyi (7) conceding a total of 19 goals in 16 league matches.
The club also has promising academy graduates in Bruce Bvuma and Brylon Petersen as reserves.
“The goalkeeping has been a problem, so I thought it was possibly the right time to bring him [Khune] back and try,” added the Chiefs coach.
The gamble went horribly wrong for Hunt as it was Khune’s first match between the sticks since the howlers against SuperSport United late last year.
It is worth noting that the 33-year-old shot-stopper picked up several lengthy injuries and ultimately missed the majority of the matches over the last two-and-a-half seasons. As a result, he fell down the pecking order both at Chiefs and Bafana.
And as much as Khune was to blame for the AmaZulu goal, so too did Hunt express his unhappiness with the performance of his troops even though he believes they didn’t deserve to lose.
“In the first half, the final ball just let us down around the box, we had lots of chances just to make the final pass… and we should have done better, their second goal was lucky, and it came from a mistake. I don’t think we deserved to lose, that’s for sure.”
The ‘Glamour Boys’ are without a win in their last five matches across all competitions with three straight losses.
“We are obviously disappointed, but we have to knuckle down with this group and we have to try and get through this. As much as we had those five matches unbeaten, we were not that great and we lost games where we were better so sometimes football works like that,” concluded Hunt.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi