ajax strike mental blow
Ajax Cape Town coach Craig Rosslee believes their win over Orlando Pirates has given them a psychological advantage ahead of their Telkom Knockout final clash.
Rosslee was speaking to the media in a post-match briefing after defeating Pirates 1-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Johannesburg Stadium on Saturday night.
The two sides meet again in the final of Ziwa Mo at Chatsworth Stadium on Saturday night in what is bound to be a thriller.
"This win was like a six-pointer to us. It gives us a big edge psychologically going into the cup final," said Rosslee, with his assistant Wilfred Mugeyi right behind him.
"It has boosted our confidence levels sky high. I am really happy with the effort my boys put in against Pirates, which augers well for a great cup final," Rosslee said.
"We knew it was going to be difficult because we did not know which players were going to be fielded by Pirates, but our players did very well."
Ruud Krol, Pirates' coach, said: "We were not organised and did not play our normal game. I'm disappointed with the manner in which we lost the game with such a goal.
"We had no business to concede that goal, I wish I had all the players available for the final. Innocent Mdledle and Thulasizwe Mbuyane are still out on injuries."
Krol also did not want to risk using Teko Modise and Bennet Chenene, who are sitting on two bookings, so that they can feature in the final.
Lehlohonolo Seema, Lebohang Mothibantwa and Gilbert Mushangazhike will be back from a one-match suspension.
Rosslee gambled by fielding Brazilian Eduardo Ferreira despite knowing he was also sitting on two bookings.
Disappointment was written all over his face after referee Buyile Gqubule booked him on Saturday, which marked the end of his Ziwa Mo participation.
The only goal of the game was netted in the 63rd minute by Mabhuti Khenyeza, who is now two goals behind the Premiership's top goal scorer Bernard Parker (nine). Khenyeza scored after Dipsy Selolwane's header was parried by goalie Senzo Meyiwa.