The shot-stopper's actions to 'touch or use' a towel he planted in his net after every save against Sofapaka FC, has become the talking point from fans
Gor Mahia goalkeeper Ivan Mapunda says he ‘had put nothing in his towel.’ The former Tanzanian international, was instrumental during his side's triumph over Sofapaka in the final of the domestic Cup (FKF) tournament on Tuesday.
The match ended 0-0 after normal and regular time and was decided by penalties with the veteran custodian - who replaced the out of form Jeremy Onyango between the sticks in the last two games - saving two crucial spot-kicks.
However, the former Morogoro United and Bandari FC custodian's actions during the match, in which he seemed to 'touch or use' a towel planted in his net after every save, has so far become the talking point from a majority of football fans in the country.
Mapunda's theatrics reached crescendo at some point forcing a clearly disturbed Sofapaka defender George Owino to remove the towel from the net, actions that infuriated Mapunda, who eventually won the battle after match referee Sylvester Kirwa agreed to have the piece of cloth 'reinstated' in the net.
“There was nothing in the towel, I normally carry it (towel) during all my games, and use it to wipe dirt and sweat during matches. I cannot allow it to be on the ground because it will get dirty,” Mapunda told Goal.com.
“The match against Sofapaka was tough, but at some point they (Sofapaka players) shifted concentration from the game to the towel and that eventually cost them.”“Overall, I am happy we won the game, it has been a tough season for me because I did not enjoy playing time but I am experienced enough and also the club made it clear while signing me that I will be second choice but I always knew my time will come.”