Goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has apologised to Kaizer Chiefs fans following the club’s embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8 quarter-finals at the weekend.
The Chiefs skipper conceded all four goals in a shambolic first half, the result equalling Chiefs’ worst defeat in the Premiership era. It was also Sundowns’ biggest win over Amakhosi in a cup match dating back to 1986.
“The players are as humiliated as the fans by this result,” Khune told the Chiefs website.
“I would like to apologise to the fans that have been through thick and thin with this team. They once again came in numbers to support the team and we have to give something back to them starting against AmaZulu (in a league game) this weekend.”
Khune said the defeat to the Brazilians was not the end of the world, although it brought into question coach Stuart Baxter’s tactics and coaching methods in relation to defending set pieces. Two of Sundowns’ goals came from corner kicks, while one followed a freekick on the edge of the box.
“Things did not go our way against Sundowns but it is not the end of the world for us. We have a long season ahead of us. We are disappointed by the result but we know for sure that we can bounce back from this type of defeat,” Khune stated.
Chiefs general manager Bobby Motaung said he is not panicking. “We’re all only human and capable of having an off-day. I don’t think there is any cause to panic,” he said yesterday, though adding that the loss was certainly a shock.
“Losing is one thing. But conceding four goals in little more than the opening 30 minutes and virtually losing the game at this point is something else.”
Motaung said the irony of Chiefs’ demise against their Pretoria rivals was that Baxter had prepared the team meticulously all week before the match.
“We really thought we had covered all the bases in the process.”
Chiefs face AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium as the 2012/2013 Absa Premiership swings into action.
Friday: Pirates v Golden Arrows, Orlando, 8pm; Ajax v SuperSport, Cape Town Stadium, 8pm
Saturday: Black Leopards v Bloem Celtic, Peter Mokaba Stadium, 3pm; Free State Stars v BIDVest Wits, Goble Park, 3pm; AmaZulu v Chiefs, Moses Mabhida Stadium, 6pm; Sundowns v Chippa United, Lucas Moripe Stadium, 8.15pm
Sunday: University of Pretoria v Maritzburg, Tuks Stadium, 3pm; Platinum Stars v Moroka Swallows, Royal Bafokeng, 3pm. – Additional reports by Sapa