Compact cup gives Khune hope of reclaiming the No 1 spot at Chiefs

football29 January 2022 06:46| © SuperSport
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Itumeleng Khune © Gallo Images

Itumeleng Khune is optimistic that the Compact Cup displays will go a long way in helping him reclaim his place at Kaizer Chiefs.

The veteran goalkeeper last played in a competitive match in August 2021, when Chiefs were beaten on penalties in the opening round of the MTN8 by Mamelodi Sundowns.

Despite seeing less time at Amakhosi, football fans showed him love, as they voted him for the Compact Cup competition.

Last week he started for Warriors in the semifinal match against Amabutho, proving that class is permanent. The Chiefs keeper and captain played a pivotal role in helping launch several attacking moves with his second to none ball distribution skills.

Khune’s performance has undoubtedly 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.

Warriors won the match 2-1 to set a date with Coastal United in the final on Saturday at FNB Stadium at 14:30.

“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,” Khune said.

“When I saw that I was part of the players who were voted by fans with Bruce Bvuma, that gave me hope. I told myself that I needed to go out there and impress and just do what I do best.

“I’m not out here to prove any point to anyone that I’ve still got it. But just to enjoy myself and give the fans who still believe in me and have voted in me something to smile about.”

The former Bafana Bafana captain said he still has ten more years to play before calling it a day.

He told members of the media: “I will retire when I am older than [44-year-old Gianlugi] Buffon. I still have maybe ten more years. Because to be quite honest, I am making a good investment in myself by even investing in a gym at home.

“I do a lot of extra work after-hours at home. Because obviously, my body is my investment. When I invest in my body, it can take me until I am 40-plus.”

DStv Compact Cup on Saturday at FNB Stadium:

Third-place playoff: Dinaledi v Amabutho (11;30am)

Final: Coastal United v Warriors (14h30)