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Football | Absa Premiership

Tercious Malepe © Backpagepix

Ajax desperate to end losing streak

Ajax Cape Town will be desperate to end their losing streak in the Absa Premiership when they host relegation rivals Platinum Stars at Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 8pm CAT.

The Urban Warriors suffered a third successive league defeat when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Mamelodi Sundowns earlier this week. Fagrie Lakay handed the Cape side an early lead, but two goals in two minutes through Ricardo Nascimento and Sibusiso Vilakazi guided the Brazilians to all three points.

Ajax Cape Town have claimed just 11 points from eight home matches this season, and need to start firing under head coach Muhsin Ertugral if they are to move clear of the dropzone.

Stars opened 2018 on a low note as they were beaten 1-0 by Cape Town City over the past weekend. Two defeats in their last three league matches leaves Dikwena within reach of those in the relegation zone as pressure starts to mount.

Roger De Sa’s troops have claimed just 10 points from eight away matches this season, though, their last two results on the road were crucial 1-0 wins at Polokwane City and fellow strugglers Bidvest Wits in the month of December, meaning they are chasing a hat-trick of away victories.

In head-to-head stats, Ajax and Stars have met in 29 league matches since the 2003-04 campaign. The Urban Warriors have claimed 13 wins compared to nine for Dikwena, while seven games have been drawn. The Cape team has won eight of their 14 home matches in the rivalry, suffering just two defeats in the process.

When the teams met earlier this season, Stars claimed a 1-0 home win on November 1 thanks to a second-half goal from Vuyo Mere. It was Dikwena’s first victory of the 2017-18 season and came in the midst of a six-game unbeaten run which sparked their climb up the log standings.

Ajax Cape Town registered a 2-0 win over their rivals in the corresponding fixture last season.

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Lebusa, Booysen, Nhlapo, Kammies, Malepe, Takwara, Losper, Morris, Lakay, Ndoro.

Platinum Stars: Visser; Mnguni, Mwedihanga, Sithole, Zulu, Masalesa, Mere, Senne, Ng’ambi, Msomi, Ntuli.

Head-to-Head Statistics


Season Result Scorers
2012/13 Stars 3-0 Ajax Malokase, Ngele, Phala
2013/14 Ajax 0-2 Stars Mathe, Ng’ambi
2013/14 Stars 3-0 Ajax Ngele, Ng’ambi, Nyanda
2014/15 Ajax 2-1 Stars Lolo, Morris; Coetzee (og)
2014/15 Stars 2-1 Ajax Ng’ambi 2; E. Isaacs
2015/16 Stars 3-0 Ajax Ntuli 2, Mere
2015/16 Ajax 1-1 Stars Morris; Mabena
2016/17 Stars 2-3 Ajax Mere, Shilongo; Mzwakali, Nxumalo, Hoffman (og)
2016/17 Ajax 2-0 Stars Margeman, Mdabuka
2017/18 Stars 1-0 Ajax Mere

LEAGUE RECORD (since 2003/04)


Ajax 14 8 4 2 25 12
Stars 15 7 3 5 19 14


Ajax 15 5 3 7 14 19
Stars 14 2 4 8 12 25


Ajax 29 13 7 9 39 31
Stars 29 9 7 13 31 39

What They Said:

Ajax Cape Town head coach Muhsin Ertugral

“We surprised Sundowns, as we did against Maritzburg United,” said Ertugral. “We came back good in the second half against Sundowns, we had chances but our big problem is entering the final third. Our midfield needs to be a bit better in securing the ball.

“I think the boys have done very well in adapting to my methods in such short time, but I am still not happy – we need to improve heading into our crucial game against Platinum Stars.

“The game against Platinum Stars is going to be tough, it is a direct opponent. It is a bit unlucky that it comes only a few days after the match against Sundowns, but we need to recover and bounce back to winning ways.”

Platinum Stars head coach Roger De Sa

“Once again we let it slip and I thought we were good enough to get a point maybe [against Cape Town City]. I thought they got stronger and stronger as the game went on.

“We made silly errors, basic defensive errors. The difference is that they had three chances we had one or two but they took their chances and we didn’t.

“That’s where the difference was. You want to be clinical and you have got to tighten at the back. We made one mistake at the back and we were punished for it. We have got to get back and work again ahead of the Ajax Cape Town game.”

Key Players:

Ajax Cape Town

Fagrie Lakay: The Urban Warriors forward has made an immediate impact on his return to the Mother City with his skill, speed and hold up play just what the club needed. Eager to prove a point, South Africa’s youngest ever international will be hoping to build on his maiden goal in Ajax Cape Town colours with yet another eye-catching performance.

Tercious Malepe: The hard-working midfielder is a vital cog in the middle of the park for the Urban Warriors, both in breaking down opposition attacks and driving the team forward. Ertugral will be relying on him to keep Dikwena at arm's length.

Platinum Stars

Robert Ng’ambi: The Malawi international has been slowly returning to his best form and with a clash against the Urban Warriors on the horizon, the midfielder will be licking his lips having contributed to their demise in the past. De Sa will be counting on Ng’ambi to lead his team past an Ajax Cape Town outfit desperate for points.

Bongi Ntuli: The burly forward has been the club’s preferred choice in attack this season and he will be hoping to continue his goal-scoring form against a shaky Urban Warriors defensive line.


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