Itumeleng Khune: Lots to learn from Júlio César

2014-06-30 16:34

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Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and captain Itumeleng Khune says he has learnt a lot from his counterparts, who have been impressive at the 2014 World Cup

I was on the edge of my seat while watching Brazil beat Chile 3-2 on penalties to progress to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

It’s interesting watching other goalkeepers perform in shoot-outs, and one thing they must never do is commit early if they are to have the advantage. Júlio César’s (Brazil) heroics against the Chileans proves as much.

Chile’s first penalty (by Ricardo Pinilla) was a poor penalty. But I think it helped that César delayed a bit. As a goalkeeper, you don’t have to commit early. You must wait a split second before you decide which corner to go, so in the end the penalty was within César’s reach.

It is always great for a goalkeeper to save penalties and I have been learning a lot in terms of checking their positioning and things like that. But like I said, the key factor is not to commit early. If you dive the right way, you will make a save and if you dive the wrong way, you will regret why you moved early.

So delay your move as much as you can and you will decide for the penalty taker [where to kick the ball], instead of him deciding for himself. So basically, you force him into going your way by delaying your move.

At the end of the day, each goalkeeper has his own approach. Take Moeneeb Josephs, for example. He likes telling them things like: ‘I know your corner.’ So it is a psychological thing about him and all in all, it is interesting how goalkeepers approach penalties.

Looking at Brazil as a team, I’m not sure they can go all the way judging by how they have been performing.

It is tough, but I think it is between Netherlands and Germany. I think Brazil are not playing like the home team – they are not showing that they are the hosts and maybe they are under so much pressure because they are playing at home.

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