Ajax out to spoil Downs’ party

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Masandawana are within touching distance of winning the league title and going one step further than last season, when they just failed to defend their crown as Kaizer Chiefs ran away with it to win by 12 points, with Sundowns in second.

Now Pitso Mosimane’s men are six ahead of Wits with five matches left in the 2015-16 season, but the Pretoria side face a difficult run of games which includes Ajax on Wednesday, followed by Chiefs on Saturday (home), SuperSport United (away), Wits (away) and finally Platinum Stars (home).

Wits are second, Stars third, Chiefs fourth and SuperSport seventh, while Ajax are 10th, so Mosimane’s star-studded side will have to be at their best to be the champions.

But Roger de Sa’s Ajax can spoil the party by claiming a much-needed three points in Athlone on Freedom Day, and help their own cause of finishing in the top-eight.

And they find Sundowns in a vulnerable state after the “Brazilians” were knocked out of the African Champions League on the away-goals rule despite beating AS Vita 2-1 last Wednesday, while they lost 2-0 to Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup quarter-finals at the weekend.

“For a top team like Sundowns to have two losses in two big competitions like this, you expect them to come out with that backlash. They certainly have the quality to get it right,” De Sa told the Ajax website.

“The big question is, will he (Mosimane) keep the squad more-or-less the same, but having a look at the VIP box and their bench, they’ve certainly got enough to fill in and come out even stronger.

“We expect a fired-up Sundowns to try and get their season back on track and I’m sure this is where they’ll look to do it. We’ve got to be at our best to match them, our job will be a little bit more difficult but we look forward to it – these matches with more intensity and a bit more purpose. For us, it’s about getting another win and getting into the top eight.”

De Sa will know all about two of Sundowns’ main attacking threats – former Ajax stars Keegan Dolly and Khama Billiat – and will be sure to devise a strong defensive plan to thwart them.

But Ajax need to score goals to get the three points, and in that regard, De Sa will hope that Prince Nxumalo can add to his tally of 11 Premiership strikes, which places him second behind veteran Collins Mbesuma (Mpumalanga Black Aces) on 13.

Meanwhile, Ajax have already started preparing for next season as they don’t want to be in the same situation again. The Urban Warriors announced their second signing for next season this week in the shape of Kenyan midfielder Victor Ali Abondo on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old Abondo hails from Kenyan Premier League outfit Gor Mahia, who won the national title last year. “It’s a good feeling to finally sign for Ajax Cape Town. This is what I’ve always dreamt of. I consider Ajax as one of the best clubs in the PSL. Even in Kenya, people know Ajax Cape Town and rate the club highly. I will work hard to make my stay here successful,” he told the club website.

“I’ve worked hard on my capabilities, so it’s time for me to take the next step in my career. For me, this is a big challenge and I will give it my all.”

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@IndyCapeSport - Independent Media

Original source: Ajax out to spoil Downs’ party

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