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Kaizer Chiefs can’t afford to go to extra time against Highlands Park – Khune

The Amakhosi fan favourite has challenged his teammates to do their best against the Lions of the North

Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune has explained their strategy as they finalise preparations to face Highlands Park in their Nedbank Cup Last 16 match on Saturday afternoon.

The darling of the Amakhosi fans is likely to return to the goalposts as they hope to reach the next stage of the competition.

Although they are touted as favourites to ease past the Lions of the North, the veteran netminder stated their mission is to finish the job within the 90 minutes at Makhulong Stadium while saying cup games are tricky.

“For me, the Nedbank Cup holds many special memories. I remember the 2006 Absa Cup final (now Nedbank Cup) very well. Ernst Middendorp was our coach back then as well and I was on the bench that day,” Khune told the media.

“So, this is a very significant cup for me. I can always look back with fond memories on this tournament I won it as part of the team in 2006 and I played in the final in 2013, when we defeated SuperSport [United] in the final.”

Having lifted a number of trophies with the Soweto giants, the Bafana Bafana keeper has urged his teammates to remain alert and convert their chances against coach Owen Da Gama’s resilient team.

“Cup games are never easy. You can play for 90 minutes and then have the game extended for another 30 minutes and penalties,” he added.

“We will aim not to stretch the game and try and get the result inside 90 minutes. We must be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared because, in games like this, we cannot afford to switch off at any stage – we need to be alert.

“We also need to make the most of our chances.”

Meanwhile, coach Ernst Middendorp’s men are under pressure to end the four-year trophy drought and to also erase the 2018/19 final embarrassing defeat to TS Galaxy.

On the other hand, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) log leaders are looking to return to winning ways following their 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United in the league last weekend.

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