Khune earns praise from both Larsen and Baxter following Chiefs win

Ithumeleng Khune was lauded following Kaizer Chiefs Nedbank Cup victory on Saturday night
Kaizer Chiefs defeated Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 to progress to the next round of the Nedbank Cup on Saturday night, with Ithumeleng Khune's performance being recognised as the turning point of the encounter.

A Dominic Isaacs own-goal settled the tie in Chiefs' favour, but without some sublime saves from Khune the result could have been very different.

Stuart Baxter was relieved following the win, but believes that with Khune in his side Chiefs will always have the advantage due to the shot-stopper's ability.

“Well I mean Celtic just kept pumping away and you worried at one point that things were going to break in the box, and it did, but when it breaks in the box we have the best goalkeeper probably on the continent so I’m just very happy to have him,” Baxter said after the match.

Baxter was pleased with the overall performance of the AmaKhosi, but was concerned with a few aspects of their game which almost allowed Phunya Sele Sele back into the match.

“Naturally I am very pleased with the result and very pleased with the performance of the players. I thought we played quite well in the first half, I thought we defended the box well.

"I didn’t think we made enough of our transitions, the final run and the final pass weren’t good enough,”

“We came out in the second half and paradoxically I thought we were slower out the box but once we got going I thought we played very, very well and again defended well, had a solid base and broke well.”

Bloemfontein Celtic coach Clint Larsen expressed similar opinions about his team's performance and also lauded Khune after the encounter. 

"Just as we expected it was a humdinger, end to end. Not too sure if that was an own goal at the near post but the boys left it all out on the pitch today and that is what we asked them to do," Larsen said at the final whistle.

“Very proud of their performance like we have been for the last few performances and we will try to just put this behind us now. I think they have done the club, as well as the supporters proud and we will just soldier on.

“Something we have done throughout the season, create chances. And we keep wanting to make sure that in the future we convert those chances but that is football, sometimes you put them in and sometimes you don’t.

"Once again tonight Khune came up with a top save right at the end but credit to Kaizer Chiefs I thought they played very well tonight and good luck to them moving on.”