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Peter Shalulile Thrushout Kaizer Chiefs

Peter Shalulile scored an opening goal against Kaizer Chiefs to claim a 3-0 victory at FNB Stadium. Photo: Gallo
Chiefs host Sundowns at FNB Stadium on Saturday in the highlight of the opening weekend of the league race. It would be Hunt’s first league match in charge of Chiefs and the four-time championship-winning coach would have loved to have another opponent on his debut.

The former Bafana number one looked sluggish and down on confidence against Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium on Saturday Kaizer Chiefs' positive start to the season against Maritzburg United now seems a somewhat distant memory after an error-filled performance against Mamelodi Sundowns at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon resulted in a 3-0 defeat in the opening league match of the Premier Soccer League season. 

There were suggestions that the feelgood factor could be set to return to the Glamour Boys camp, but now after 90 minutes against a polished-looking Sundowns side, there will be a couple of headaches for new coach Gavin Hunt. One was the failure of his side to take a number of decent goal-scoring chances on the day, even if Sundowns keeper Denis Onyango's saves are taken into account.

Onyango's form on the day though was in stark contrast to that of the man who has been Bafana Bafana's number one goalkeeper for the better part of the last decade, Itumeleng Khune. In fact it was Onyango who beat Khune's Chiefs team-mate, Daniel Akpeyi, to the PSL Goalkeeper of the Season award on Thursday night.

But back to Khune...There were signs of things to come before the howler which led to Peter Shalulile scoring the opening goal in the 37th minute. The first came in the 15th minute, when the veteran shot-stopper seemed to misjudge a cross-cum-shot from Hlompho Kekana and had to react sharply to keep the ball out the net. Then in the 22nd minute, Khune came rushing out his box to intercept a through ball but lost all composure as he kicked the the ball straight at Shalulile. 

The Namibian could well have scored but Ramahlwe Mphahlele spared Khune's blushes with a goal-line save. When the goal did arrive, it was from Shalulile, and was clearly of Khune's making as he flapped feebly at a corner and failed to make any contact. 

The lack of authority in which Khune came out is what may be most worrying for the Amakhosi technical team. Khune didn't have a whole lot of work to do after that, but still managed to contribute further to the Sundowns cause for their third and final goal when he rashly brought down former Chiefs midfielder George Maluleka in the box, enabling Themba Zwane to seal victory with an 89th-minute penalty.

It wasn't that Maluleka had to do much to earn the spot kick - it was a pretty ordinary touch past the keeper, but with his head seemingly still affected by the earlier mistakes, Khune committed the most basic of errors in taking out his opponent. Now he's left head coach Gavin Hunt with a tough call to make. 

Hunt will know the history - that Akpeyi came in last season and made the goalkeeping berth his own after Khune's injury problems.  Whether it was out of respect to Khune, or because of what he had seem on the training ground, Hunt decided to restore the South African international to the starting line-up and relegated Akpeyi to the bench. 

But with the semi-finals of the MTN8 against arch rivals Orlando Pirates looming large (following a league clash against Chippa United), Hunt has a tough call as to whether to recall the Nigerian or to a risk a Khune down on confidence.

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