Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
26 Oct 2018
10:33 am

Soweto derby still excites Khune

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Itumeleng Khune might have seen and done it all for Kaizer Chiefs, but he still gets excited when the Soweto derby comes

Itumeleng Khune, captain of Kaizer Chiefs celebrates a goal (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Amakhosi meet Orlando Pirates tomorrow in an Absa Premiership match that will be played in front of a sell-out crowd at the FNB Stadium.

“It’s a big, special and exciting one,” said Khune this week. “People started talking about the derby when I was in camp with Bafana Bafana. It was a bit unfair for us as players because we had other games to focus on and win.

“But it’s the norm in the country and we understand that. Whenever the fixtures come out they tick the date for the derby because they can’t wait for that match and can’t wait to see their respective team win and entertain them,” he added.

Khune was one of the players Chiefs coach Giovanni Solinas rested last weekend in what is widely seen as a move to ensure they are fresh for the derby. Despite Virgil Vries doing well and saving two penalties in the 4-2 win over Black Leopards in the Telkom Knockout, Khune is likely to be back in goal tomorrow.

READ: Khune not paying attention to Mokwena’s ‘mind games’

Chiefs have not had any joy when it comes to winning trophies in the past three years which is a bad stain on their impressive record but what will hurt the fans even more is that they have not beaten the Buccaneers in the past four years.

“It’s not nice to know that the last time we won the derby was back in 2014. We are now in 2018 and it’s been four years since we last beat them. But it is going to be a different ball-game on Saturday. We have to turn it around and go for the victory. We believe in ourselves, and our supporters will come and rally behind the team. We will put the smiles back on their faces,” promised Khune.

There was however doubt over striker Khama Billiat as Solinas claimed he had not been cleared by the medical team – another move seen as mind-games – and Khune admitted it would be noticeable if the Zimbabwean wasn’t available to play.

“Khama Billiat is our key player. And yes, we have a lot of great players, but again, whenever a key player is missed on the day, you see the difference in some way.

“In the last game we ended up going to extra time and I said to the guys on the bench that we really needed his presence in that match. He was missed but the other guys took the opportunity and now we are in the next round (of the Telkom Knockout),” said Khune.

 

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