Ncikazi wishes Pirates’ Mako well: ‘We could have lost him but God saved him’
Player unconscious after colliding with Bucs goalkeeper Richard Ofori’s knee in last minute of match against Baroka
Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi has thanked players and coaches of other clubs who visited Paseka Mako in hospital after the left-back’s scary head injury in the Premiership match against Baroka in Polokwane last week.
Some who were at Peter Mokaba Stadium to watch the goalless draw, including coaches and players from both sides, as well as fans watching on TV at home, were reduced to tears and fearing for the worst as Mako went down after a nasty clash at the end of the match in his home town.
The 28-year-old Mako was left unconscious after a collision with the knee of Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori in the last minute of the match, and was taken off the pitch by ambulance and then to hospital.
“We could have lost him, but God being good to us he was saved. He is still in hospital for further checks,” Ncikazi said from Tanzania after Pirates lost 1-0 in Sunday’s first leg of their Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal clash against Simba SC in Dar es Salaam.
“I wish him well and the players wish him well. I want to thank everybody who prayed for him to get well.
“Even other teams in the PSL and players visited him in hospital,” Ncikazi said. This was a fine gesture from the football community in SA, he said.
Pirates gave an update a day after Mako’s hospitalisation, and said the player was in a stable condition.
The club said doctors report that the CAT scan showed no signs of skull fracture or brain haemorrhage, but Mako had face and nose fractures.
This morning coach Sead Ramovic took some of his troops and visited @orlandopirates left-back Paseka Mako at the hospital.— TS Galaxy FC (@TSGALAXYFC) April 15, 2022
We may be opponents during the 90 minutes but we are brothers for life. The entire @TSGALAXYFC Family wishes you a speedy recovery. pic.twitter.com/p8ZP5TQRgp
Mako, who would have had family and childhood friends from nearby his home in Zebediela watching in the stadium, has received well wishes from the football community countrywide. The player was visited in hospital by TS Galaxy coach Sead Ramović, his fellow coaching staff and players on Good Friday.
Pirates are preparing for Sunday’s second-leg Caf Confederation Cup quarterfinal clash against Simba, who will arrive in Johannesburg on Saturday fancying their chances to progress to the semifinals after denying Ncikazi’s team a crucial away goal.
Ncikazi said Pirates will need to improve on the number of shots at goal in the second leg.
“When we went wide we never passed into the box and made an effort to create a good goal-scoring opportunity, but we still have an opportunity in our home country.”
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