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Menzo proud despite Ajax conceding twice

Ajax Cape Town new head coach Stanley Menzo. File photo
Ajax Cape Town new head coach Stanley Menzo. File photo
Image: JONAS ROOSENS / BELGA / AFP

Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo says he is proud of his team despite conceding twice in injury-time to draw 2-2 at home to AmaZulu in their Absa Premiership clash at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.

Struggling Ajax were dominant for much of the game and put in one of their more accomplished performances as goals by Masilake Phohlongo and Tashreeq Morris put them 2-0 up.

They spurned a number of chances to increase that lead‚ before being punished by Mhlengi Cele and Mabhuti Khenyeza late in the game.

“It’s a pity because I think the team deserved more.

"It’s a pity we couldn’t finish it off and make it 3-0 or 4-0‚ because we had the chances to do so‚” Menzo said.

“We weren’t clinical enough to exploit the space they gave us in the last 10 minutes as they pushed forward.

"So it’s disappointing‚ the last five minutes‚ but what I saw of them [his players] before‚ I am proud of them having not played for three weeks against a good team.”

Phohlongo scored his first career goal‚ albeit in fortunate circumstances thanks to a howler from Usuthu goalkeeper Boalefa Pule‚ in what was also his first league start.

Menzo says the 20-year-old had been pushing for a place in the team and could feature more this season.

“I am very glad for him and he can add something to the team.

"You have to work for it‚ he played well in [MultiChoice] Diski‚ he’s training well‚ and I thought that this game was good for him to make runs behind their lines.

"It’s good to have somebody extra‚ who can score goals.”

Menzo also pushed Toriq Losper onto the pitch to give him some minutes after 14 months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

At the time Ajax were in complete control‚ but the coach admitted it was perhaps the wrong move and he might have been more defensive.

“Toriq got some minutes‚ we couldn’t bring him on in his [preferred] position.

"And maybe we could have brought somebody else in‚ but always when you lose or draw you look back and think about those things.”

Next up for Ajax is an away trip to SuperSport United in a catch-up match on Wednesday and Menzo says he is not too disheartened after giving up the chance for three points.

“I believe in this team‚ it’s not easy after three weeks to come and play against a competitive team‚ so I must give the team a big compliment‚” he said.

 

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