CAPE TOWN - While Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo was understandably gutted with how his team threw it away against AmaZulu at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday night, he refused to be down-hearted. Instead, he preferred to focus on the positives, which he will now take into a midweek PSL fixture against SuperSport United.
Both Ajax and SuperSport have to pick themselves up from the depths of despair and disappointment to ensure they are ready to go when the two sides meet in a PSL fixture in Nelspruit on Wednesday evening (kick-off 7.30pm).
SuperSport failed to overcome TP Mazembe of the DR Congo in the CAF Confederations Cup final. Saturday’s second leg tie in Atteridgeville ended 0-0, with the Mazembe crowned champions 2-1 on aggregate.
Ajax, on the other hand, desperate to turn around a stuttering PSL season, blew a 2-0 goal advantage, to share the spoils at 2-2 with AmaZulu. The Cape side was comfortably leading 2-0, with goals from Masilake Phohlongo and Tashreeq Morris, right up to the 89th minute.
And then they spoiled it all by allowing AmaZulu to stage a late fightback. Mhlengi Cele got one back in the 90th minute and, with the final play of the game during injury time, veteran, 35-year-old marksman Mabhuti Khenyeza, headed in to make it 2-2.
Now, inasmuch as the two sets of players are likely to feel rather disenchanted with the the manner in which things have unfolded, they’ll have to quickly put it behind and move forward: there are three vital league points on offer on Wednesday.
“It’s a pity,” said Menzo. “I thought we deserved more, and we certainly had the chances to score more. I was disappointed with our last few minutes, when we conceded the two goals, but very happy with what I saw before then. We did everything we planned, and we didn’t lose too many balls in our own half. I’m sad for the players, to have worked so hard, and then to throw it away in the end. But that’s football, I guess.
“AmaZulu are a good team. I thought they did well when they pushed more strikers into the attack - we were just not clinical enough to exploit the spaces when they pushed so many players forward.
“But the belief is still there. I still believe in the team. We have to take the positives from the match into the SuperSport clash on Wednesday. We have to get over the disappointment, have a look at how the players have come through with regard to injury, and then bring this same type of performance, as we did in the opening 85 minutes against AmaZulu, against SuperSport.”