Last Wednesday, in a superb, wonderful first half exhibition of top-class, stylish football, Ajax destroyed PSL log leaders and title-favourites Mamelodi Sundowns. The match ended goalless only because of the Urban Warriors’ shoddy finishing in front of goal. That was the good face.
Yesterday, in a woeful, inept first half against Celtic, Ajax sank to the depths of mediocrity. They went into the break 4-0 down – and, to be brutally honest, it was exactly what their tawdry performance deserved. That was the ugly face.
As dazzling as that first half against Sundowns was last week, the deplorable opposite showed its countenance yesterday. There was no energy or desire. They hardly competed and, for the most, looked largely disinterested in a disappointing, lamentable opening 45 minutes against Celtic.
Dumisani Zuma got the opener for Celtic and then, in a mindboggling two-minute spell of incompetence, they leaked another two goals. Capetonian Lyle Lakay hurt his city compatriots with a blinding volley after a poor clearance from Abel Mabaso to make it 2-0. And then Ajax midfielder Ndiviwe Mdabuka’s poor first touch and subsequent loss of possession (something he has been guilty of throughout the season) put the defence under pressure and Musa Nyatama sliced through a gap so big a bus would have driven through, to steer in the third goal.
Lakay then added to the Cape club’s misery three minutes before halftime when his free-kick eluded everybody and, somehow or other, found its way into the net. On the stroke of fulltime, Thapelo Morena completed the humiliation by scoring Phunya Sele Sele’s fifth goal.
Ajax coach Roger de Sa, needless to say, was disconsolate afterwards: “We just never got going. We were bad from the first minute to the last. In the end, we deserved to get the hammering we got. As a professional player, you should always be motivated, you should want to put on the kit and go out there and play.” - Cape Times
Original source: Ajax - a case of Jeckyll and Hyde