Bvuma, Khune or Akpeyi between the goalposts? Chiefs’ spoilt for choice ahead of epic Wydad clash

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
The spotlight will be on Baxter, and who he recommends to start now that Khune and Akpeyi have fully recovered from injuries and are part of the travelling part. Photo Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images
The spotlight will be on Baxter, and who he recommends to start now that Khune and Akpeyi have fully recovered from injuries and are part of the travelling part. Photo Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

SPORT


Kaizer Chiefs’ riches in the goalkeeping department will provide the team’s goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter with a pleasant headache in deciding who between Bruce Bvuma, Itumeleng Khune and Daniel Akpeyi should be between the goalposts in the CAF Champions League semifinal against Wydad Athletic.

Amakhosi face the in-form Moroccan giants in the opening leg of the last four encounter at the Mohamad V Stadium in Casablanca on Saturday night. The game kicks off at 9pm.

However, the spotlight will be on Baxter, and who he recommends to start now that Khune and Akpeyi have fully recovered from injuries and are part of the travelling part.

Bvuma rose from obscurity on the Amakhosi bench to assume the number one role early last month when he came on as a second half replacement for Akpeyi, who had suffered a concussion during the team’s 2-2 draw against Bloemfontein Celtic.

Khune, with 18 appearances in all competitions this season, was last in goal for Chiefs in their 1-0 loss to Chippa United in April, but was then sidelined by a shoulder strain.

In a recent interview with City Press, Bvuma – with nine appearances in all competitions – vowed to continue fighting for the No 1 jersey.

READ: Votes lift Khune and Tyson among fan favourites seconded to play in Carling Black Label Cup

The 26-year-old recently endeared himself to the Amakhosi followers with some solid performances that helped Chiefs to a top eight finish in the just-concluded DStv Premiership campaign as well as helping the team secure a Champions League semifinal spot.

“There is a strong sense of belief in our camp that we can win the Champions League now that we made it this far,” Bvuma told City Press from the Bafana Bafana camp before the new-look team’s 3-2 win over Uganda at Orlando Stadium last Thursday. He was among the unused substitutes.

Having been in and out of the Chiefs matchday team throughout the season, Bvuma had almost resigned himself to a bleak season.

The goalie from Braamfischerville in Soweto was not in the Chiefs squad that lost 4-1 on aggregate to Wydad in the group stage early this year.

Khune was in goal in the first leg played in Tanzania and the 33-year-old was back between the sticks after Akpeyi was red-carded in an explosive return fixture that Chiefs won 1-0 at FNB Stadium.

I feel happy that I’m involved and I hope that I’ll get a chance to play again
Bruce Bvuma

Bvuma described the second leg against Simba away as his toughest game so far, after the Tanzanians put three past him in Dar es Salaam. But Chiefs held on for a 4-3 aggregate victory.

“The game in Tanzania was the hardest I have played so far but I am so proud of my team-mates that we fought until the end,” said Bvuma of the fixture in which Simba’s late surge almost levelled the game.

Heading into Saturday’s epic semifinal clash, the soft-spoken goalminder said he was pleased to be part of the travelling contingent.

“I feel happy that I’m involved and I hope that I’ll get a chance to play again,” said Bvuma.

READ: How Bruce got his va-va Bvuma back

Wydad are unbeaten in 11 matches and their free-scoring form has been remarkable. The Moroccans have scored 10 goals in four league matches this month alone.

Bvuma said Chiefs were unfazed. “For me as a goalkeeper, I am not worried about their strikers scoring. We know them very well from the group stages and going into this game, we believe we are well prepared.”

The return leg is set for FNB Stadium next Saturday (June 26).


facebook
twitter
linkedin
instagram

Daniel Mothowagae 

Deputy sports editor

+27 11 713 9001
Daniel.Mothowagae@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
The Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) has accepted the report by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke proposing that South Africa’s local government elections be postponed to February.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I was looking forward to the elections in October
53% - 10 votes
Postponement makes sense
37% - 7 votes
They should be later than February
11% - 2 votes
Vote