Daniel Akpeyi, the penalty shoot-out hero for Kaizer Chiefs in their victory over rivals Orlando Pirates at the weekend, has once again come in for praise from his coach Ernst Middendorp, who described him a special player.
Following a 2-2 draw in open play of the Telkom Knockout quarterfinal between the two Soweto giants, it was left to Akpeyi to see Amakhosi through.
Akpeyi hasn’t always been the flavour of the month for club supporters, who took time to warm up to the Nigerian keeper after he joined from Chippa United in January.
“He is very grown up and he always performed. I understand why there was criticism in the beginning. He arrived to help the club with Itumeleng Khune injured and that was enough to make him a bad goalkeeper,” Middendorp told reporters.
The coach also gave credit to goalkeeper coach, Lee Baxter.
“I think there’s always an element of working on it too, but as I said he is very grown up, experienced and knowing where he has been – the World Cup – he talked a lot about it. And don’t forget it, the work that was done by goalkeeper coach Lee Baxter is very qualified – and that has helped with this outside drama. He has done well, is performing and is something special,” said Middendorp.