CAPE TOWN - With Ajax Cape Town still in a rather precarious position, Sunday’s PSL fixture against Platinum Stars takes on even greater significance. The two sides meet at the Cape Town Stadium (3pm kickoff), with coach Stanley Menzo fully aware that victory is paramount.
Ajax are in 11th position on the PSL standings, with 26 points, but the critical point is that just four points separates them from last-placed Baroka FC (22 points). That’s how tight it is in the skirmish to avoid relegation from the top flight. At this stage, with five games to play, the Cape side can ill-afford to lose to a team in their vicinity of the league table.
The 2-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on Tuesday, therefore, probably didn’t concern Menzo all that much because the Pretoria team is among the contenders for the title. But Sunday’s game - Platinum are currently 10th, also 26 points - is highly important for Menzo. These are the fixtures his team should be winning if they are to move away from the dreaded drop zone.
Again, as it has been all season, and probably a few seasons before as well, Ajax’s big problem is turning possession and territorial dominance into goals. It was this area, in fact, which Menzo highlighted as the reason why they lost to Sundowns.
“We played well for 60 minutes,” said Menzo. “But Sundowns’ quality in attack was the big difference. We created chances, and I don’t think it was due to a lack of concentration, it’s just the quality that is lacking.
"In football, you are always going to have those moments when it is all about what you do with the scoring chances We couldn’t finish our chances - Sundowns did.”
Despite this, Menzo believed his players had showed enough against Sundowns to give him confidence going into Sunday’s vital encounter against Platinum.
“If I look at the first 60 minutes we played against Sundowns, then I think we can get the points that we need,” said the Urban Warriors coach. “We are four points above the relegation zone, but, in the PSL, things change after every game.”