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AmaZulu fans shouldn't blame their goalkeeper

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Italy's Federico Macheda, Manchester United's forward, scores past Zimbabwe's Tapuwa Kapini, Amazulu's goalkeeper, during their MTN Football Invitational match at the Moses-Mabhida Stadium on July 18, 2012 in Durban. (Anesh debiky/AFP/GettyImages)
Italy's Federico Macheda, Manchester United's forward, scores past Zimbabwe's Tapuwa Kapini, Amazulu's goalkeeper, during their MTN Football Invitational match at the Moses-Mabhida Stadium on July 18, 2012 in Durban. (Anesh debiky/AFP/GettyImages)

Amazulu fans have the right to be furious after their team's recent displays where they conceded a total of nine goals in two matches. But putting the blame in their goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini is just unacceptable by me. Yes, the goalkeeper is the last line of defence but he has defenders to protect him at all times.

The Zimbabwean went to tears after AmaZulu suffered a 2-0 defeat to their rivals Maritzurg United this weekend, before being drubbed by Mamelodi Sundows 7-1 the next week. I am one of those who say Kapini can be outclassed by Aubrey Mathibe, who is currently playing second fiddle to the skipper. The former Kaizer Chiefs shot-stopper impressed me during the start of the campaign when Kapini was not eligible to play due to being unregistered by the club.

Usuthu travelled more than 500 kilometres to Johannesburg for their opening match of the season against Orlando Pirates, where they came out victorious with a 1-0 win with Mathibe keeping out the eight shots fired at him by the Pirates to make sure his side leave with maximum points to Durban and earned himself a man of the match award.

Kapini is not a bad goalkeeper at all, that is why AmaZulu bought him from Platinum Stars with a record fee of R1m in the winter of 2011. He has been consistent at Usuthu last season even though the team was playing around the relegation zone during the course of the campaign.

In the Sundowns match he was not alert when he conceded the first goal in just one minute, but where were the defenders when Hlompho Kekana was free to shoot from range. AmaZulu started like a house on fire this season and found themselves on the top of the standings early in the season but now they dropped out of the top five. The supporters were angry after losing to their neighbours this past weekend and threw objects towards Kapini when the goalkeeper was walking toward the tunnel and he had to be protected by the police and club members.

This is something I don’t understand because in their recent 2-0 loss, the first goal they conceded was deflected in by their own defender Marc van Heerden. Then the second goal saw United’s midfielder Thokozani Sekotlong through on goal after beating an offside trap. Do you really blame the goalkeeper for this? Ususthu fans must be patient as it is still early in the season and I don’t even think that they expect to win the league after surviving the relegation last season. AmaZulu are placed seventh on the log and they might still dream of finishing in the top eight, a feat that they only achieved twice in the last two decades.

The next test for AmaZulu will see them travel to Limpopo to take on new Premiership boys Polokwane City, where I believe they will turn the corner around if they are strong enough because the same Polokwane City surprised Mamelodi Sundows with a 1-0 shock win just four days after the Brazilians registered a 7-1 win over Usuthu.