AmaZulu FC captain Makhehleni Makhaula is determined to ensure that the team returns to winning ways at the Carling Black Label Cup in Johannesburg.
The KwaZulu-Natal giants were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Orlando Pirates in the 2022 MTN8 final at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban over the weekend.
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Usuthu are now set to battle it out with Mamelodi Sundowns in the first semi-final match of the one-day tournament which is scheduled to take place at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.
Makhaula, who was one of AmaZulu’s standout performers during the final, urged his teammates to forget about the defeat to Pirates ahead of the team’s encounter against Sundowns.
“It could be a chance for us to bounce back. Even if the coach can’t do everything, it might happen that some of us are still left behind because we lost the MTN8,” Makhaula said.
“We will try to bounce back because we have top players and we need to bounce back because it was sad what happened to us over the weekend and you can still see that, so I think we will come back okay.”
It was Makhaula’s second defeat in an MTN8 final having been part of the Highlands Park team that lost to SuperSport United in the 2019 final
“I’m a fighter. I’ll be alright. Talking about other players, we have a coach who will help us rise up again and we will try to quickly forget about what happened,” the veteran midfielder added.
“With what you see right now, it will be a different story on Saturday.”
The winner between Usuthu and Masandawana will face either Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs in the final at the same venue, while the losing team takes part in the third-place play-off penalty shootout.
The encounter between AmaZulu and Sundowns will kick-off at 9h30 am.