Absa Premiership

Ertugral: Destiny in our hands

2013-05-13 13:06
Muhsin Ertugral (Gallo)
Pietermaritzburg - Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral was relieved to have their Absa Premiership destiny still in their own hands after watching his team come from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw against Maritzburg United in their penultimate match of the season on Saturday.

A second-half strike by Mabhudi Khenyeza helped the 14th-placed Urban Warriors secure a point at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg, where Orlando Smeekes’ 29th-minute opener had given the hosts the lead.

The result, coupled by Chippa United in 15th securing a 2-2 draw against University of Pretoria, meant Ertugral’s men needed just one point at home against Golden Arrows next week to retain their top-flight status.

“I’m not nervous (ahead of the last game),” the Turkish coach said. “I knew they (Chippa) won’t win their game today, but now it obviously goes down to the last week.

“We’ll have to take a point from our game, which will make us safe. It’s all in our hands.”

His task was made easier by the fact that his previous club side, Arrows, beat Platinum Stars 2-1 to secure their own safety.

“We’re still going to have to go there and play because anything is possible in football,” he said. “Nothing is decided before the whistle, so we can’t just pitch up against them.

“It would have made things a little more tricky if Arrows had lost today. Both teams would have just a one-point lead over Chippa and then a win would be necessary fir both teams.

“I also wouldn’t want Arrows to go down, so I’m glad that they secured. Let’s hope for a nice last game.”

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach said he never doubted the club’s safety from the time he was appointed as coach late last month.

“You could see it when we beat Chiefs and you saw today -- we should have won the game. We had three clear-cut chances to win and they had none.”

“The boys are playing good football. We came here to get three points and it’s not an easy place to get anything, but we did. So yes, I’m confident. I think with the bunch of players we have, who are confident and who believe in themselves, we will survive.”

Maritzburg boss Ernst Middendorp admitted there was huge disappointment in their camp after the result left their top-eight chances hanging by a thread.

The Team of Choice had been inside the top six for almost the entire season, before a recent slump in form saw them slip to 11th.

“We were consistently between four and six all season, but then dropping out in the last three to four games, it’s definitely a huge disappointment for all of us,” the German coach said.

Read more on:    ajax cape town  |  psl  |  muhsin ertugral  |  soccer
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Saturday, 16 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Bloemfontein Celtic, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 15:30
Chippa United v Polokwane City, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 15:30
Free State Stars v Orlando Pirates, Goble Park 18:00
Wits v Platinum Stars, Bidvest Stadium 20:15
Kaizer Chiefs v Ajax Cape Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium 20:15
Sunday, 17 December 2017
Baroka FC v SuperSport United, Peter Mokaba Stadium 15:30
Golden Arrows v Maritzburg United, Princess Magogo Stadium 15:30
Tuesday, 19 December 2017
Mamelodi Sundowns v Cape Town City FC, Loftus Versfeld Stadium 19:30
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