Ajax, Chippa in big fights

CAPE TOWN — Ajax Cape Town will be looking to secure their Absa Premiership status when they host Golden Arrows, who are now safe from relegation, at the Athlone Stadium today, kick off is at 3pm.

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Ajax drew 1-1 away to Maritzburg United in their last League outing and now need just a point to secure top flight survival.

Arrows, meanwhile, scored an impressive home victory over Platinum Stars and are now safe, which means they could well play with a lot more freedom in Cape Town this weekend.

Ajax goalkeeper Sean Roberts said the Urban Warriors camp was oozing confidence right now and would take nothing for granted.

“A lot has changed recently, for the good, with Muhsin (Ertugral) coming in. He has got the boys believing in themselves again. It’s quite a good place be in at the moment. We are very confident now and with the last game to come it is all in our hands,” said Roberts.

“We know what they (Golden Arrows) are about. Without giving too much away, we are positive about this one. We know where they are strong, but also where they are weak.”

Arrows left-back Mzivukile Tom believed that the Durban club will be out to impress, even though they were safe from the drop.

“We want to end on a high and make sure that we play well and give ourselves a launch into the new season. We want to finish strong so that we start strong next season,” Tom said.

“We know it is a tough game in Cape Town no matter who you are playing. Ajax need this result so they are going to be ready for battle. We are also ready and focused on this game.”

Ajax Cape Town — who have two former Arrows players in their squad in Abia Nale and Mabhuti Khenyeza — have recorded five wins, six draws and three defeats in their 14 home matches so far this season. They are now 14th on the log with 28 points from 29 matches.

Arrows have recorded just two away victories this season, suffering seven defeats in the process. Abafana Bes’thende are 13th on the table with 31 points from 29 matches.
Chippa United will have to fight for their survival when they meet AmaZulu in a crucial Absa Premiership clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium today. Kick-off is at 3pm.

The Chilli Boys are currently placed 15th on the Absa Premiership log, with 25 points from 29 matches and needing maximum points to stand any chance of avoiding direct relegation or taking part in promotion playoffs.

However, there is hope for the Phillipi-based side as they are unbeaten in their last five league outings, coming from behind to earn a 2-2 draw at home to University of Pretoria in their last match.

Chippa have not done well on the road, winning just one game away from home this season, but club media officer Lukhanyo Mzinzi hopes his side will repeat the performance which saw them claiming maximum points against Orlando Pirates.

“The mood has been positive because the boys have not lost recently but the boys are aware of the challenge that lies ahead,” he said.

“It is a big ask to beat any team in this league, especially in their home ground, but we are taking this match very seriously because it is one of the biggest games in the club’s history.

“AmaZulu have improved tremendously and they are a side that plays the passing game well, but we believe that playing against a team like that means we’ll also have a chance to play to our strengths.”

AmaZulu were in a similar position not so long ago, but a 4-0 win over Black Leopards two weeks ago saw the Durban side ensuring their survival in the elite league.

Usuthu are placed 12th on the Absa Premiership log with 32 points from 29 matches.
However, they go into this game looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Bidvest Wits and captain Tapuwa Kapini said they are eager to bounce back from defeat.

“We’ve had a week to recover from the loss to Wits, but we are still disappointed by the result and we want to make up for it when we play against Chippa,” Kapini said.
“They are currently fighting for their safety and we understand that they will bring everything they have, but they won’t get any favours from us.

“It’s our last game of the season and we’ll be playing at home, so it’s important for us to play well for ourselves and for our fans.”

That encounter took place earlier this season, with the teams playing to a 1-1 draw in Cape Town.

Chippa will be missing the services of Andile Mbenyane, who won’t make the trip to Durban due to injury, while Marc Van Heerden remains the only injury concern for the home side.

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