Battle to remain in PSL - Ajax insist great escape is possible

Ajax will rely on striker Yannick Zakri, right, to escape. He's seen here clashing with Tiyani Mabunda .
Ajax will rely on striker Yannick Zakri, right, to escape. He's seen here clashing with Tiyani Mabunda .
Image: Samuel Shivambu/ BackpagePix

To avoid the dreaded PSL promotion/relegation playoffs, Ajax Cape Town will need to pull off a feat they have not achieved since 2013.

On Saturday, the final day of the season, the Urban Warriors will attempt the great escape against Kaizer Chiefs at the Cape Town Stadium.

Ajax need a victory against Amakhosi to stand the best chance of avoiding a 15th place finish and subsequent playoff battle. The Mother City outfit have not tasted a league win over Chiefs since their 1-0 win five seasons ago.

Even a victory may not be enough as it will be dependent on the results of two other games where SuperSport United will take on Baroka and Polokwane City face Chippa.

It will be mission improbable for the team against the Soweto giants who they have only beaten twice in their last 10 league clashes.

But come D-day on Saturday (3pm), past results will be thrown out of the window as the battle to remain in the top flight is finally resolved.

Ajax coach Muhsin Ertugral says the players know very well that their careers are on the line.

"As a coach my job is to instil confidence and belief in the players that we can overcome this difficult moment, and we should take it more as a test of character.

"It is up to us to stand up and show that we are much better than this," Ertugral said.

"It's not over yet and after the match on Saturday we need to be able to be proud that we never gave up irrespective of the results. But yet we are in the fight for our lives"

The current season has been the worst in the history of the club as they are second from the bottom with a record of 14 losses, eight wins and seven draws - with 31 points from 29 games.

Should they not pull off a miracle, Ajax will have to compete with a place in the Absa Premiership with Black Leopards and Jomo Cosmos in the round-robbin format play-offs, starting next week.

They will count on the form of Yannick Zakri to pull them through. The striker has scored four goals for the Warriors since moving to Ikamva on loan in January.

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