“That game was one of the best I ever played,” reflects Brilliant Khuzwayo about his sterling performance in keeping a clean sheet to help Kaizer Chiefs beat Orlando Pirates 1-0 in the MTN8 final at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium on 20 September 2014, six years ago on this day.
The Umlazi-born goalkeeper made several superb saves in that cup final.
“The best was probably saving Oupa Manyisa’s shot from close range,” he recalls. “I had to move across from the first goalpost to the middle… However, I had quick feet. Everything happened subconsciously. It was the result of working hard for hours and hours at the training field.”
Itumeleng Khune was struggling with an injury and couldn’t play. “Some Pirates players were already teasing that they would score a lot of goals with Itu out injured,” Khuzwayo reflects. “It was typical pre-match banter. It didn’t bother me. My focus was on my job, which was to keep a clean sheet and take the cup.”
Captain Tefu Mashamaite put Amakhosi ahead with a header in the 28th minute.
“I ran towards the supporters behind the goal to celebrate with them,” enthuses Khuzwayo, who was a Glamour Boy from 2012 to 2018. “I wanted to join the joyful supporters, as they are the mainstay in making Kaizer Chiefs the huge brand that they are. They are always behind us players. That’s why I wanted to be with them when we scored.”
Just after Mashamaite’s goal, Mandla Masango had to leave the pitch to be treated for a hand injury. “We played with one man–down for quite a bit,” Khuzwayo says, “but nobody noticed. That is testament to the team effort that day. We all focused on taking the cup. It was really a collective effort.”
The goalkeeper was deservedly selected as the Man of the Match.
Chiefs’ Chairman, Kaizer Motaung, approached Khuzwayo after the game and told him with a big smile on his face: ”You have shown South Africa what Ihave always seen in you.”
Khuzwayo has a copy of the cup final on his laptop. “I get goose bumps every time I watch it. Those are great memories of Love & Peace.”
The goalkeeper was forced to retire from soccer last year, due to a recurring ankle injury.
To conclude, Khuzwayo has some words of thanks for Motaung. “I am really grateful for everything the Chairman has done for me and my family. He’s one of the most important mentors in my life. In fact, I keep learning from him.
“I will always be Love & Peace!”