Ertugral in high spirits

Thami Nqolobe

Thami Nqolobe

A proud coach of Ajax Cape Town, Muhsin Ertugral, heaped praises on his boys after their splendid performance against Mamelodi Sundowns.

Ajax beat Sundowns 2-1 in a thrilling Castle Premiership encounter played before a poor crowd at Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.

"Our plan of unsettling Sundowns worked as we attacked from the onset, forcing them to defend in numbers," said a delighted Ertugral.

"I am glad that we won this game, though my long-term goal is to mold Ajax into a formidable side that will maybe start collecting cups and win the league."

His counterpart at Sundowns, Gordon Igesund, was very disappointed with the result but vowed that his charges will bounce back to restore their shattered image in their next match, the Absa Cup semifinal against Silver Stars.

"We will regroup and face Silver Stars in the Absa Cup game on Wednesday, and hopefully we will even matters with them, as they beat us 2-0 in a midweek league encounter played in Rustenburg last week," said a dejected Igesund.

The Brazilians were lucky not to be embarrassed by a heavier margin, had Ajax danger man Thembinkosi Fanteni not fluffed three golden scoring opportunities in the second minute, eighth minute and towards the end of the first half.

The home side scored their first goal in the 30th minute through Bryce Moon, who finished off a rebound off Downs goalkeeper Calvin Marlin after he blocked a shot from Nathan Paulse.

The visitors should have taken the lead in the 29th minute, but the crossbar came to the rescue of Ajax keeper Hans Vonk, who was beaten by a Surprise Moriri header from a Jose Torrealba cross.

The Urban Warriors came back strongly in the second stanza and were rewarded with a goal from midfielder Clifford Ngobeni, following a square pass by Fanteni who profited from a Neil Winstanley error.

Six minutes before the final whistle the visitors were awarded a penalty by referee Buyile Gqubule after Ajax defender Clayton Jagers handled the ball in the box and from the resulting kick Moriri reduced the tally, making the final score 2-1.