Khune shows class is permanent in Compact Cup
Khune shows class is permanent in Compact Cup

Posted in News, Team News on Jan 27, 2022.

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was at his classic best on Saturday in goal for the Warriors team in the DStv Compact Cup against Amabutho, stopping goals and launching his team’s attacks in trademark fashion.

Khune – who has not played a competitive match in over four months – showed his class after being voted for by the fans in the Warriors team made up of players from four teams in the Gauteng region.

He was also selected to start the match that saw his team made up of players from Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Swallows FC and TS Galaxy win the semi-final match against Amabutho. The coastal team consists of players from KwaZulu-Natal based AmaZulu, Golden Arrows, Maritzburg United and Royal AM.

Amabutho came into the match with attacking intent, as they launched attacks from the outset – while also defending well for 90 minutes. They created some great scoring chances, but Khune made his experience count when he stopped several deadly attempts from going past him.

The Chiefs keeper and captain also played a pivotal role in helping launch several attacking moves with his second to none ball distribution skills. The final score was 2-1 to the Warriors.

“It feels great to be back on the pitch after not playing for many months,” says Khune. “I need to thank the fans for their undying love and giving me this opportunity to showcase my God-given talent. The match was not easy, but we did our best to advance to the finals. It shows that we have some good talent in the country and I’m certain that the national team coach is watching, as there are many exciting youngsters who are doing well.”

The Warriors team is dominated by Chiefs, with 8 players out of 24. The other three teams share the 16 remaining spots.

When asked about not being a part of the camp that the rest of his Kaizer Chiefs teammates are in at the moment, Khune says: “We miss our guys who are in camp, because it’s very important to be with our teammates and coaches to plan for the remainder of the season during this crucial period of the season. But we have had to heed the call when supporters want to be entertained in this important competition organised by the league and DStv. We are working hard away from the camp and keeping in touch with the guys in camp. I have specifically been talking to assistant coach Dillon Sheppard, goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter and captain Bernard Parker on a regular basis. It is also encouraging to know that we will be able to spend quite a bit of time with the team before playing our first game of the year on 12 February against TS Galaxy in the Nedbank Cup.”

Khune has certainly given coach Stuart Baxter something to think about as he produced some telling saves and was his acrobatic self as he stopped a determined Amabutho attack from winning the game on Saturday.

He says he plans to do even better if selected in the next game.

“It boils down to hard work and dedication. Having not played for a while also builds hunger. So, when given a chance, it’s important to do well. I’m happy that I contributed to the success of the team in our first game.”

Khune and his Warriors teammates coached by Dylan Kerr are currently in a three-day camp as they prepare to face off against Coastal United, who won their game against Dinaledi.

“We are looking forward to the game on Saturday and we will do our best to ensure that the first trophy does not leave Johannesburg,” vows Khune.

The coaches will get a chance to select their starting XI for the final and fans can vote for three subs during the match. A total of nine subs can be made.

Warriors will now face Coastal United in the final of the inaugural DStv Compact Cup at FNB Stadium. The game will kick off at 18:00. Amabutho will face Dinaledi in the third and fourth place curtain raiser at 15:30.

The matches will be live on SuperSport Channel 202.

Share this article: