But AmaZulu believe they will win playoffs

Thami Nqolobe

Thami Nqolobe

AmaZulu's bid of staying in the Castle Premiership next season will be determined at the dreaded Mvela Golden League Platinum playoffs.

Usuthu lost 0-1 to Ajax Cape Town in a rain-soaked league encounter played in an empty Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday.

Both sides were playing their last league games and Usuthu, who finished 15th on the log, will join Winnerspark, City Pillars and Tukkies in the playoffs to decide who will gain promotion to the Castle Premiership.

However, AmaZulu coach Jullio Ceaser Leal is still as optimistic that his side will survive the chop in their final attempt.

"We will regroup, plan because I believe AmaZulu will bounce back. I told the my players it is not over yet.

"Today's (Saturday) result was not good for us. I thought a draw would be fair but we missed our chances in the first half. Ajax got the only chance and took it," said the Brazilian.

Ajax coach, Muhsin Ertugral, rested some of his regular players such as Hans Vonk, Dominic Isaacs, Bageta Dikilu, Mkhanyiseli Siwahla and Franklyn Cale for the Absa Cup final against Mamelodi Sundowns in Durban on Saturday.

"I decided to give other players a chance to play and rest some of my regular players for the Absa Cup final. I am happy that we ended the season on a high note, " said a delighted Ertugral.

The visitors meant business from the onset, but Ajax's keeper, Andre Petim, fisted a goal-bound cross from Kagiso Senamela for a corner in the first minute.

In the seventh minute, Dennis Lota's curling corner kick hit the crossbar and veteran John "Shoes" Moshoeu's header missed the target in the 15th minute.

The Urban Warriors were unlucky in the 14th minute when the visitors' keeper, Tshepo Motsoeneng made a double save blocking Clifford Ngobeni's shot and Rusell Mwafulirwa from the rebound.

Ajax striker, Nathan Paulse, fluffed three scoring opportunities in the 19th, 27th and 31 minutes when he failed to control the ball into the net with Motsoeneng to beat.

Thembinkosi "Terror" Fanteni found the net in the 55th minute following a poor clearance by the visitors' defender, Kasonga Belux from a corner taken by Brett Evans. Usuthu should have levelled matters in the 69th minute but were let down by Sibusiso Ntuli