Ajax, Swallows clash a must-win for both teams

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Ajax Cape Town players celebrates a goal.
Ajax Cape Town players celebrates a goal.
Image: BackpagePix

Today’s top-of-the-table clash between leaders Ajax Cape Town and second-placed Swallows at Rand Stadium could paint a clearer picture as to who will clinch automatic promotion between the two teams.

Heading into the 1pm kickoff, Ajax sit comfortably at the summit of the GladAfrica Championship table, having garnered 51 points, six behind Swallows from 26 games.

These teams come from contrasting results. Ajax would hope to bounce back following a 1-0 defeat to third-placed Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila on Saturday, while Swallows are in high spirits after beating Real Kings 1-0 on the same day.

Urban Warriors interim mentor Calvin Marlin came close to admitting that today’s game has the potential to settle the debate of who will gain the outright ascendance into the top-flight.

“Everybody knows that we’re number one and they’re number two. If we win the game that means the league is sorted… settled in a way. If we lose we are still in it as well but they’ll gain some leverage,’’ Marlin told Sowetan yesterday.

“For us, we can gain a lot more than what we can lose [if they win] but for Swallows, if they lose that’s pretty much it for them.’’

Meanwhile, Swallows chairman David Mogashoa said beating Urban Warriors would be a huge motivation. “A win would just motivate us to keep on fighting.’’

“We take it one game at a time because when we started the season, we did not plan to gain promotion as it’s like this is our first season [after the rebirth of the club, having dropped to the second-tier]. But now it looks promising, so we want to win all our remaining games and see where does that put us,’’ said Mogashoa.

Swallows came back to life via purchasing the second-tier status of Maccabi before the start of the season, having been relegated from the ABC Motsepe League to the SAB League in 2017. The Dube Birds’ fall from grace started when they dropped to the second-tier from the elite league in 2015, before dropping to Motsepe League the following year.

GladAfrica fixtures Today: Ajax v Swallows, Rand Stadium (1pm); AmaTuks v Richards Bay, Johannesburg Stadium (3pm); Sporting v Steenberg, Tsakane Stadium (3pm)

Tomorrow: Mbombela v Uthongathi, Randburg Rugby Stadium (1pm); JDR v Kings, Rand Stadium (3pm); FS Stars v Tshakhuma, Sturrock Park (3pm); Cosmos v Eagles, Johannesburg Stadium (3pm); Galaxy v Umoya, Wits Rugby Stadium (3pm)

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