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