battle for ajax

STEADY: Ajax Cape Town defender Dikulu Bageta is capable of dealing with Santos' deadly strikers.
STEADY: Ajax Cape Town defender Dikulu Bageta is capable of dealing with Santos' deadly strikers.

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Ajax Cape Town face an uphill battle in their quest to fortify their chances of clinching their first ever league championship as they face homeboys Santos in an Absa Premiership Cape Town derby tonight.

The match, which kicks off at 7.30pm at Athlone Stadium, has all the hallmarks of a thriller because pride will also be at stake in this encounter.

The Urban Warriors are in a neck-and-neck race for the title with leaders SuperSport United and soccer enthusiasts are waiting with bated breath to see who will eventually wear the crown on Sunday.

The teams were separated by one point before Matsatsantsa's match against Lamontville Golden Arrows last night.

Craig Rosslee's side go into tonight's tricky encounter knowing what a setback will do to their title aspirations.

Santos have had a good run under Botswana coach David Bright, but against Ajax tonight they face a team that has displayed a spirited all-round performance.

Their display this season saw them beat their opponents with swagger to bolster their title challenge but The People's Team beat them 2-1 in the first round.

Bright's side will want to repeat the first- round heroics tonight and Ajax can ill afford to underestimate their neighbours, who have just missed out on the title race.

Santos forward Eleazar Rodgers, who was last week named the side's player of the month for April, is in good form and poses a threat to Ajax's rearguard.

But Ajax have capable defenders like Dikulu Bageta and Eduardo Ferreira to deal with Rodgers and company.

Bright could also give seasoned Kenyan defender Musa Otieno the responsibility of dealing with Ajax's deadly forward Nathan Paulse.

Eyong Enoh should make things happen for Ajax in the midfield where the speedy Mkhanyiseli Siwahla and Jonathan Fransman could also be problematic.