PSL

Khune faces Bucs bogey again

2011-09-16 09:11
Itumeleng Khune (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Football pin-up Itumeleng Khune is desperate for a change of luck when his Kaizer Chiefs team face arch-rivals Orlando Pirates Saturday in a Soweto derby.

The Soweto giants, whose rivalry ranks among the biggest on the continent, have already clashed three times since the mid-July start of the season with Pirates winning them all.

National team first choice Khune allowed a shot to slip between his legs and into the net as the Buccaneers won 1-0 in a Vodacom Challenge playoff for the right to face English visitors Tottenham Hotspur.

A week later they clashed again in an exhibition match bankrolled by a world brewing giant and after 120 goalless minutes, the Chiefs goalkeeper blazed his penalty over in the shoot-out and handed Pirates the trophy.

Last weekend, Pirates successfully defended the MTN8 Cup - a competition for the leading eight finishers in the previous championship - and Khune was the fall guy once again.

His "crime" was to allow a long-range Oupa Manyisa shot to bounce just before reaching him and then fly over his outstretched arms for the lone goal of a game that went to extra time.

Within hours social network sites were abuzz with criticism of Khune, the son of a mineworker from Ventersdorp who first sporting love was cricket before joining Chiefs when 17 years old.

"Hate me - it is okay. You are making me stronger and I am used to people like you (critics). I can do only so much and need protection as well," Khune tweeted.

It was a rare experience for the clean-cut 24-year-old goalkeeper, who appears on television almost nightly endorsing fried chicken and shoe polish, and Chiefs coach Vladimir Vermezovic rushed to his defence.

"My philosophy is that a goalkeeper is never guilty for conceding a goal. If the 10 players in front of him cannot stop a guy from scoring, then he cannot do anything," said the Serb.

Khune was also out of luck in midweek with big-screem replays proving he did not foul an Ajax Cape Town player, but the referee thought otherwise and awarded a penalty which the home team converted en route to a 2-1 victory.

It was Chiefs' first league loss after three consecutive victories and left them level with Pirates, one point behind early pacesetters Mamelodi Sundowns and SuperSport United.

Chiefs will lack suspended Zimbabwe midfield "enforcer" Tinashe Nengomasha at Soccer City while Pirates can call on former Blackburn and West Ham striker Benni McCarthy, who missed the MTN8 triumph because of a two-match ban.

Read more on:    psl  |  itumeleng khune
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27 August 2014
Mamelodi Sundowns v Orlando Pirates, Loftus Stadium 19:30
AmaZulu v Bloemfontein Celtic, Moses Mabhida Stadium 19:30
SuperSport United v Black Aces, Peter Mokaba Stadium 19:30
Platinum Stars v Kaizer Chiefs, Royal Bafokeng Stadium 19:30
University of Pretoria v Free State Stars, Tuks Stadium 19:30
29 August 2014
Wits v Moroka Swallows, Bidvest Stadium 20:00
Chippa United v Ajax Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 20:00
30 August 2014
Free State Stars v Maritzburg United, Goble Park 15:00
Polokwane City v Orlando Pirates, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:00
Kaizer Chiefs v SuperSport United, FNB Stadium 20:15
Black Aces v University of Pretoria, Mbombela Stadium 20:15
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