Why Fashion Sakala might have infectious grin wiped off after 'winner' against Celtic and what manager told him on touchline
Rangers forward Fashion Sakala is a cheery soul even at the worst of times, so you can imagine how the jovial Zambian lit up the auditorium at Hampden when he spoke to the media after his team’s 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic.
However, that infectious grin may be dulled ever so slightly when he discovers that the crucial goal in the 115th-minute is being awarded to Celtic’s Carl Starfelt rather than him.
Television pictures suggested it is indeed an own goal, but Sakala is claiming it nonetheless.
“Yes, it is my goal,” he said, with reporters clearly not feeling the urge to tell him otherwise and wipe the smile off his face. “I definitely got the last touch.
“I was a little unsure at first and there was a bit of a misunderstanding why I didn't celebrate straight away. The players were all running in different directions.
“This is one of my best moments in football."
Sakala has endured a difficult time of late, criticised for the way he led the line in a recent 1-0 defeat by Braga. However, his pace and movement is a precious commodity for Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst and the 25-year-old made a difference as Celtic’s defence started to tire.
“The managers said quite a lot of things before I went on,” continued Sakala.
“The main thing was that he believed in me.
“He said that he was taking off [Kemar] Roofe as he needed a rest but that he had belief in my qualities.
“I think one of the reasons the manager made the change was my speed.
“Because there were a lot of tired bodies he wanted to use my speed.
“They looked a bit tired and that is why we made the change.”
Sakala’s goal – or Starfelt’s, depending where you stand on the debate – sparked wild scenes among the Rangers support and the former Oostende player called the moment “beautiful”.
“We always try to give something back to them because they are always there for us even in the bad moments,” he added.
“It was beautiful at the end to share the moment with the fans.
“We wanted so much to give them the victory.