Cape Town - Hosts of the inaugural Cape Town Cup, Ajax Cape Town will hope to erase their Etv Charity Cup showdown disappointment and focus on the clash against Portugal giants Sporting Lisbon on Friday night.
Roger De Sa saw his charges beating Jomo Cosmos 2-1 before losing to Mamelodi Sundowns in last week’s one-day tournament in Pretoria, however the match against Sporting Lisbon is set to test his young squad regarding their readiness for the new season.
Although skipper Travis Graham could be out of the match through injury, De Sa is armed with the experienced Nathan Paulse and Granwald Scott as well as rising stars Rivaldo Coetzee, Bantu Mzwakali and Abbubaker Mobara - players who are expected to play key roles.
“Sometimes we believe that certain players are ready and others aren’t, but when you put them out against the top teams, it gives us a chance to measure ourselves, to look at the young boys and see what we’re lacking,” said De Sa.
“We have Sporting Lisbon on Friday night; a nice big one at Cape Town Stadium. The exercise will really help us for the season ahead.”
Looking at the Portuguese giants who have already begun with their training sessions at Athlone Stadium, they have.nothing to say other than that they looking forward to the match.
Club official Joao Gomes said they’re pleased to have an opportunity to be part of the tournament.
“Sporting Clube de Portugal is very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Cape Town Cup," said Gomes.
"We are certain that participation in this tournament will be beneficial for the preparation of the first team for the season 2015/2016.
“We point out that for Sporting to participate in a tournament in South Africa has a special feeling because as early as July 28, 1997 we have a strong bond, the date on which Nelson Mandela became Member of Merit of Sporting Clube de Portugal.”
Coach Jorge Jesus has brought along his big guns including striker, Teófilo Gutiérrez, midfielder João Mário and defender Jonathan Silva to mention but a few.
Ajax and Sporting will contest the second semi-final at 20:15 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup venue, Cape Town Stadium on Friday night. The earlier game will see SuperSport United face Crystal Palace.