Absa-lutely quiet cel­e­bra­tions for Shabba

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MINENHLE MKHIZE Go­ing into his tenth sea­son at the club, Tsha­bal­ala promised that he and his team­mates will make their sup­port­ers happy. “They still sup­ported us and this re­ally shows the love and the sup­port they have for the team; only way to make the

BE­NEATH THE big smile that flashed across Siphiwe Tsha­bal­ala’s face as he col­lected his Absa-lutely Goal of the Sea­son award was a dis­con­tented heart.

No, the Kaizer Chiefs mid­field mae­stro was not in agree­ment with the gen­er­ally held no­tion that he wouldn’t have cap­tured the gong had the award been judged by a pro­fes­sional panel. In­stead the con­test was put out to a pop­u­lar­ity vote and the Amakhosi skip­per’s strike against Su­per­Sport United beat the in­cred­i­ble over­head kick, in­jury-time, equal­is­ing goal scored by Baroka FC goal­keeper Os­carine Ma­suleke that be­came a trend­ing topic the world over.

Tsha­bal­ala though was not about to get en­tan­gled in the ar­gu­ments about the merit of his suc­cess and in­stead en­joyed his mo­ment in the lime­light, al­beit with some reser­va­tion.

“I might have had a great sea­son as an in­di­vid­ual but as a team we didn’t do well,” he lamented.

With Chiefs en­dur­ing yet an­other bar­ren sea­son, Tsha­bal­ala was un­der­stand­ably not able to fully cel­e­brate the nu­mer­ous per­sonal mile­stones.

The goal of the sea­son award was but the cherry on top of other achieve­ments, among which was him scor­ing his 50th goal in the Amakhosi jer­sey. Added to that was his reach­ing the 300 game mark as Chiefs player, nine years af­ter join­ing the club.

That goal, a sweet lob from the edge of the box af­ter he deftly con­trolled a pass, spot­ted the keeper off his line and sent the ball del­i­cately into the net, was in his 300th match for Chiefs.

He ac­tu­ally had two goals in the fi­nal three nom­i­nated for the award.

“I’m grate­ful that two of my goals were recog­nised. I want to thank ev­ery­one who voted for me. The goal that won, I scored it on my wife’s birth­day. Even be­fore the game I wrote a mes­sage on my wrist, wish­ing her well. I also ded­i­cate the award to her.”

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