Sander Westerveld: Elementary mistakes

John Goliath

GOALKEEPER Sander Westerveld looks set to be dropped for Ajax Cape Town’s clash against Maritzburg United at Cape Town Stadium tomorrow night.

The erratic Dutchman again produced a mixed bag in Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat against Kaizer Chiefs in Polokwane, and it seems the faith shown in him over the last one-and-a-half seasons is waning.

This could see Sean Roberts take over for Friday’s match, after sitting on the bench.

Supporters of Ajax certainly are growing more and more frustrated with Westerveld, and have called for his head after almost every game.

Ajax’s caretaker coach Jan Pruijn has always backed Westerveld as his No 1, but yesterday hinted that the former Liverpool goalkeeper could lose his place in the starting line-up after his error in judgment led to Chiefs’ second goal.

To be fair to Westerveld, his defensive line hasn’t done him any favours so far this season, but he has let himself down with some elementary mistakes.

On Tuesday night, he neglected one of the most sacred rules of goalkeeping – cover your near-post. Admittedly, Siboniso Gaxa’s effort from the right was powerfully struck from close range, but Westerveld should have kept it out if he covered the near-post.

“I have two days to think about (dropping Westerveld),” Pruijn said yesterday after arriving back in Cape Town from Polokwane.

“If I’m thinking about this, then I must put things into perspective. A week ago, I was very clear in my consideration, what do we have available and which decision to make.

“The second goal is a goal that you must save (at the near-post), and it didn’t happen,” Pruijn added.

It does seem, though, that the little training ground altercation between Matthew Booth and Khama Billiat has been sorted out after the players were roommates during the mid-week trip to Polokwane.

Pruijn also said yesterday that the club have put the matter behind them after Billiat cried foul on social media last week. Both also played against Chiefs at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.


Tomorrow: Moroka Swallows v SuperSport United (Dobsonville Stadium, 8pm), Ajax Cape Town v Martizburg United (Athlone Stadium, 8pm). Saturday: Orlando Pirates v Kaizer Chiefs (FNB Stadium, 3.30pm), University of Pretoria v Chippa United (Tuks Stadium, 8.15pm), Platinum Stars v Golden Arrows (Royal Bafokeng Stadium, 8.15pm). Sunday: AmaZulu v Bidvest Wits (Moses Mabhida Stadium, 3.30pm), Free State Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic (Charles Mopeli Stadium, 3.30pm), Mamelodi Sundowns v Black Leopards (Lucas Moripe Stadium, 3.30pm).