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Riveiro gives update on Makhaula’s condition after on-field medical emergency

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has provided an update on Makhehleni Makhaula’s condition following a scary incident on the pitch that necessitated immediate medical intervention.

Makhaula went down towards the end of the first half after a routine ball clearance near the Pirates goal in a Nedbank Cup Round of 16 tie against Motsepe Foundation Championship side Hungry Lions on Saturday night at Orlando Stadium.

While receiving treatment on the field, Makhaula’s condition worsened as he appeared to lose consciousness. This triggered paramedics to sprint to the pitch to his aid after a signal from the players.

Makhaula was stabilised by the medics before being stretchered off the field for a more thorough evaluation. The 34-year-old was replaced by Thalente Mbatha.

The incident sent shivers down the spines of everyone watching, including Riveiro and the Pirates bench, who were visibly shaken by the sudden medical emergency.

Makhehleni Makhaula of Orlando Pirates getting treatment
Makhehleni Makhaula/Orlando Pirates

Jose Riveiro on Makhehleni Makhaula: ‘He is okay’

“It was a shocking moment for all of us, obviously one of those situations that you sometimes unfortunately have the opportunity to live yourself close,” said Riveiro. “We used to see it on TV sometimes, and today [last night] was our chance to have that feeling, and I can tell you it is not nice.

“But thanks to the doctors and the technical assistance, I think they managed to stabilise him because it was a difficult moment, that’s what I heard.

“And what I know is that he’s in the hospital; he’s in good hands. He’s in observation. I guess the club will tell you something to say more details. It is a personal thing. So what I can tell you right now, even though I didn’t have the opportunity to speak to Makhaula, is that it’s okay.

“Actually, we should ask ourselves how we managed to continue playing football without knowing [Makhaula’s health]. It was not easy, but the doctors told us that he was okay.”

Pirates, the defending champions, turned on the magic on the night, dismantling Hungry Lions 4-0 in a dominant display. The emphatic victory secured the Soweto giants’ passage to the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals.

RELATED STORY: Pirates through to the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals

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