Great saves put Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi on a new path
Injury to Itumeleng Khune gives Nigeria goalie chance to shine with clean sheet and Man of the Match award against Baroka FC that helped Amakhosi win
Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi’s string of great saves against Baroka FC a few days ago helped his side win the match but the player insists he did not have the best of games against the visitors at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Akpeyi replaced Itumeleng Khune as a forced change in the 28th minute after the Chiefs stalwart was injured.
The Nigeria goalie looked over the moon to get the Man of the Match award but said the end result is the most important one.
“I think it’s also good to be Man of the Match. I guess that’s why I’m sitting here.
“As a professional‚ you have to be ready for anything‚ especially in the goalkeeping department. I don’t think I had the best of games, but it’s a better way to start.
“We had our game plan, and we actually got better in the game. We did struggle but it’s the end result that’s important. We got the three points‚” Akpeyi said.
“For me it’s the beginning. I hope I get another chance to improve and get better in the game.”
Akpeyi admitted they weren’t all that good in their last two matches, against Baroka and AmaZulu‚ but they collected the points with the clean sheets, winning 1-0 and 2-0.
“What we did in the game to pick up the three points wasn’t an issue. It’s not about beautiful football. We want to pick up the three points and we need the three points to stay at the top.
“It’s a good start for us.
“The two clean sheets are a motivation for the goalkeeping department and the team in general.
“When the team keeps a clean sheet‚ you may not win or draw‚ but you’re not going to lose the game.
“It’s a motivation for the next game so that the job isn’t overloaded on one side.”
Akpeyi‚ Nigeria’s No 1 goalkeeper at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations‚ has been overlooked for the next round of national team matches.
It is the least of his concerns as Chiefs have a small internal battle in their own goalkeeping department. Bruce Bvuma is a fast-rising stopper who will ask questions while Khune battles his fitness issues.
“I’m not looking to be motivated for a call-up‚” Akpeyi said. “I’m working on myself‚ working on my career and profession to get to the peak.
“If I get a call-up‚ it’s fine‚ but I’ve played my part in terms of being to the big tournaments … it’s all about me now‚” Akpeyi said.