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Telkom Knockout Cup: Five things Khune brings to Kaizer Chiefs

09:34 GMT 23/11/2019
Itumeleng Khune, Kaizer Chiefs, August 2018
Amakhosi host Maritzburg United in the second semi-final of the TKO on Sunday but what is it that the goalkeeper brings to the team?

  • Itumeleng Khune Willard Katsande Mario Booysen Siyabonga Ngezana of Kaizer Chiefs September 2018

    Effective communication

    One of the many traits of a great goalkeeper is effective communication which keeps their defence on its toes for the entire match, and Itumeleng Khune has mastered this art since bursting into the professional ranks 13 seasons ago. With Khune in between the sticks, Chiefs defenders play with increased confidence as he communicates with the back four regularly to ensure maximum protection. 
  • Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs

    Organisational skills

    Khune's organisational skills are second to none, especially if you compare him to his colleagues at Amakhosi. He hardly concedes goals from dead-ball situations because he is able to organise his wall and foresee possible danger from corner kicks. While many other goalkeepers don't place players to guard their first and last posts, Khune does that more often and this alone means he is more alert and knows what to expect from opposition attackers. 
  • Itumeleng Khune Kaizer Chiefs

    Excellent distribution

    Over the years, Amakhosi have benefitted from Khune's ball distribution, especially when they are launching counter-attacks. With the clash against Maritzburg United a tricky Cup test, this trait can also play a huge role in swinging the pendulum in his team's favour. Samir Nurkovic, Khama Billiat and Dumisani Zuma have pace, meaning Ernst Middendorp's men can use this rare skill as their weapon to hurt the Team of Choice if Khune starts ahead of Bruce Bvuma.   

  • Kaizer Chiefs vs Sundowns, Itumeleng Khune

    Wonderful agility

    He may be on the other side of his 30s but Khune remains agile and his reflexes are the reason teams find it difficult to beat him. Dubbed Mzansi's No.1, Khune doesn't only stop attempts shot straight at him but he keeps getting better in diving both to his left and right-hand sides. He is not the tallest of the goalkeepers, but it's seldom that you'd see him beaten by any aerial ball. Even with corner-kicks, his ability to come out of his line and punch the ball away from danger shows that he's got that amazing technique.   
  • Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune

    Solid catching

    Daniel Akpeyi and Bruce Bvuma appear to be good at punching more than catching, and this is where Khune beats them. There were instances when the two goalkeepers would parry the ball back to the opponents or on the path of opposition strikers which led to goals this season, but with Khune in the team, Chiefs fans can be rest assured this wouldn't happen. Khune is also a great penalty stopper but the same can be said by both Akpeyi and Bvuma.