Ajax out for revenge
Lebogang Manyama (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Team of Choice put paid to Ajax Cape Town’s league title hopes with a morale-sapping 2-2 draw on the last day of an epic 2010/11 PSL season.
Maritzburg United were one of the few teams the Urban Warriors failed to beat last season, including a 3-0 pasting at the Harry Gwala Stadium on January 19.
Ajax go into their PSL game on Wednesday night minus three of last season’s mainstays in Thulani Serero, Sameegh Doutie and Hans Vonk.
Serero and Doutie moved to Ajax Amsterdam and Orlando Pirates respectively while Vonk retired, although that game will always be a stain in his long career.
Their 2-0 loss to Platinum Stars in their opening game showed their frailties away from home and they will seek to get their league campaign back on track with a win.
Despite playing against their bogey team, Ajax have a formidable record at the Cape Town Stadium, having not lost a game there, with their most recent result being a 5-2 hammering of three-time PSL champions SuperSport United in the MTN8.
Ajax striker Lebogang Manyama said they needed to forget about last season’s heartbreak and focus on the task at hand. “We need to forget about the loss and focus on playing a good game on Wednesday. Maritzburg are a strong side so there is no way they are going to make it any easier for us,” he told the PSLwebsite.
Maritzburg United showed impressive resilience in salvaging a 2-2 draw against Bidvest Wits in their opening game. Their set-piece frailties were exposed but they showed impressive pace out wide. Their last loss to Ajax was 3-0 hammering during the 2006/07 season, but the Ian Palmer-mentored team are a much better side than the one that was relegated that season.
They will rely on former Ajax striker Diyo Sibisi, who is shouldering the goal scoring mantle in the absence of ace midfielder Rudolf Bester, who switched to Orlando Pirates.
Maritzburg do not seem to miss the crisp passing of midfielder Musa Nyatama, who returned to Mamelodi Sundowns. Sibisi, who netted a penalty against Ajax last season, was under no illusions about the task that lies ahead of them on Wednesday night.
“I think it’s going to be a tough game because Ajax lost to Platinum Stars and they are a very difficult side to beat at home."