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Makhaula: Emotions Were Too High

  • April 15, 2024
  • 2 min read
Makhaula: Emotions Were Too High

Orlando Pirates midfielder Makhehlene Makhaula admitted that his emotions got the better of him during his exuberant celebration against AmaZulu in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday.

Makhaula was a fan favorite at Usuthu during his two-and-a-half-year stint, before departing in January last year. He played a key role in their success, leading them to a second-place finish in the 2020/21 season and the MTN8 final last term, which they lost to Pirates at the same Durban venue.

However, after scoring the third goal against his former team on Saturday, Makhaula sparked controversy by sprinting from his own half to celebrate with goalkeeper Sipho Chaine. AmaZulu fans interpreted this as a sign of disrespect.

Fans on social media heavily criticized their former captain, using offensive language. This prompted both Makhaula and the club to issue statements clarifying the situation.

“Before the game, Chaine jokingly predicted that I would score,” Makhaula revealed with a chuckle. “At the time, I didn’t take it seriously, considering I hadn’t scored in over eight years.”

The 34-year-old’s last goal came with Free State Stars against Bidvest Wits on May 10, 2017.

“So, when the moment arrived, the first person that came to mind was Chaine,” he recounted jokingly. “I sprinted towards him to celebrate, but my body betrayed me due to the exertion.”

Makhaula’s agent, Sizwe Ntshangase, felt compelled to apologize on social media platforms due to the negative reaction from Usuthu fans regarding the celebration.

Makhaula was also involved in a controversial penalty decision just before halftime. He appeared to be pushed by Taariq Fielies in the box, leading to a penalty that Patrick Maswanganyi converted to equalize for Pirates to make it 1-1.

Ultimately, Pirates emerged victorious with a 4-2 win. This victory extends their unbeaten record against Usuthu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium since the venue’s reopening for domestic football after the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Their next challenge will be Chippa United in the Ke Yona Cup semi-final, with the PSL to announce the match dates at a later stage.

Picture courtesy of Orlando Pirates

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