Khune blunder prove costly as Kaizer Chiefs lose against SuperSport
Another match‚ another unbelievable and costly howler by goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune as Kaizer Chiefs produced a limping performance against SuperSport United at Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday night that will have stunned their fans even further.
Khune’s mistake played a huge role in helping Matsatsantsa a Pitoli to climb to fourth spot as they ended up winning the game 2-1 after inflicting a third defeat to Amakhosi in seven league matches in the 2020-21 campaign that will surely look too long now for Gavin Hunt and his side.
The goalkeeper gifted Kaitano Tembo’s team their opening goal when his clearance fell on Gamphani Lungu who fed the ball to Sipho Mbule to set up Bradley Grobler.
Grobler scored his easiest fifth league goal of the season on the stroke of halftime in a match that Amakhosi started far brighter than they had done in all competitions this season.
Khune made a similar mistake in the 2-2 draw against Black Leopards seven days ago‚ the only difference this time being that Chiefs failed to stage a comeback to salvage at least a point after their captain’s blunder.
Mbule secured the win in the 53rd minute when Grobler was allowed to run through the Chiefs defence before making a lovely cross that the SA Under 23 midfielder powerfully thundered home from inside the area.
Chiefs woes worsened in the 65th minute when defender Philani Zulu tackled Lungu from behind‚ leaving referee Victor Hlungwani with no option but to give the Chiefs left back a straight red card.
Chiefs’ consolation goal‚ a penalty taken by Lebohang Manyama after Dumsani Zuma was fouled by Luke Fleurs inside the area in the 88 minute‚ came too late and when all the big damage had already been done.
It’s going to be difficult for Hunt to believe that his side lost this match when they started it on the front foot‚ putting the home side in sorts of trouble‚ with Njabulo Blom and Lebogang Manyama coming close to earning Amakhosi the lead with three good chances inside the first 15 minutes.
The first half goal gave SuperSport confidence to attack more at the start second period and their efforts were rewarded when Mbule increased their lead. Zulu gave the home even more authority with the numerical advantage following his unnecessary infringement on Lungu‚ who had to leave the field immediately.
Chiefs once again started this match without their chief striker Samir Nurkovic who has missed all the action this season due to an injury and boardroom issues that the Chiefs management is yet to fully explain.
Hunt hinted before the kick-off of the Leopards last week that there are issues that needed to be resolved before he could consider playing Nurkovic.
The Amakhosi star striker is reported to be negotiating new terms with club after his 13 league goals and six assists in 2019-20 season attracted interest from big paying clubs in the Middle East and North Africa.
That Hunt didn’t include Nurkovic in the team in Atteridgeville on Tuesday night will further fuel those rumours‚ though there were unconfirmed reports before the start of this match suggesting that the player had pulled out of training on Monday after suffering an undisclosed injury.
In Nurkovic’s absence‚ Chiefs have struggled to find the back of the net. As hard as they tried‚ especially in the first half against SuperSport‚ they just could not add to the paltry five goals they had scored in the previous league matches.
Manyama later added one but it was little too late to make any difference.