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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Makhaula says Pirates had to grind for a point against Sundowns

'It was really tough for us because we even got a red card somewhere around the 55th minute,' said the midfielder.

Orlando Pirates midfielder Makhehleni Makhaula says they had to grind for a point after getting a red card in their DStv Premiership match with Mamelodi Sundowns at Loftus Stadium on Saturday.

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Pirates went one man down following a red card for Miguel Timm in the 54th minute for a second bookable offenceagainst the Brazilians while the score was still goalless.

Sundowns went 1-0 up thanks to a well-taken strike by Marcelo Allende in the 76th minute, with the attacking midfielder scoring from the edge of the box.

However, Pirates got a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty after Abdelmounaim Boutouili’s foul on Tapelo Xoki.

Xoki stepped up to take the spot-kick and made sure that he canceled out Allende’s goal in the 80th minute, leaving the game tied at 1-1.

‘A really difficult game’

“Thanks to the supporters for coming out in their numbers. It was a really difficult game. We created chances, but unfortunately, we didn’t convert them,” said Makhaula.

“In the end, even they didn’t create so many chances. It was really tough for us because we even got a red card somewhere around the 55th minute and we had to grind to get a point.”

Makhaula, who lasted the entire match on the pitch against Sundowns, was making his way back into the team after struggling with a hamstring injury late last year.

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The injury saw him only play four games for the club this season, heading into the Pirates match, three in the league and one in the MTN8. His aim will be to stay injury-free for the rest of the season and become a regular in Jose Riveiro’s team.

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