/ 20 May 2011

Weekend PSL battles for Ajax, Pirates and Chiefs

In one of the most exciting domestic seasons ever the Premier Soccer League will go down to the wire on Saturday with Ajax Cape Town, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in contention for the title in the final round fixture of the campaign.

Ajax top the log with 59 points while Pirates (57 points) and Chiefs (56 points) are in second and third place, respectively.

This season has been a fruitful one for the Ajax brand with their Netherlands parent club, Ajax Amsterdam winning the Dutch title last week for the first time in five seasons.

The Urban Warriors are on the verge of their first since being formed in 1999 should they beat Maritzburg United at Cape Town Stadium.

It will also be a perfect send off to their coach Foppe de Haan who retires after the match with the Dutch native confident that his young charges will prevail.

“We will win it,” De Haan told the media earlier in the week.

“We played really well all season despite a few games when we lost our concentration and the games.

“We will look at being real aggressive on the field in a good way and to take control of the game from the start.”

‘Without fear’
Pirates play Golden Arrows at Orlando Stadium in hope that Ajax choke, bearing in mind that they carry a better goal difference.

The Buccaneers stand a chance of winning a treble this season, having won the MTN8 earlier in the campaign and playing in next week’s Nedbank Cup final in Nelspruit.

“Obviously, Ajax being two points ahead of us are firm favourites, but it’s not over until it’s over,” said Pirates captain Lucky Lekgwathi.

“I believe Ajax will have more pressure coming into this game, whereas our task is a straightforward one to beat Arrows and wait for the result from the Cape.”

Chiefs line-up against AmaZulu at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban where their hopes will be banked on Ajax losing and Pirates drawing.

Amakhosi played themselves back into contention with a rampant 4-0 win over Ajax two weeks ago.

Do they have the ability to snatch it under the noses of the top two?

“Our team’s character and spirit came through against Ajax and now it is all about Saturday and us pushing for another win once again,” said Chiefs defender Thomas Sweswe.

“Whenever we face any major challenge as a team we are ready to conquer it together without any fear.”

Saturday’s other matches see Santos play Vasco da Gama at Athlone Stadium and Moroka Swallows away to Mpumalanga Black Aces at Puma Stadium, where Vasco and Swallows are fighting to avoid the promotion-relegation play-offs.

Bidvest Wits face Platinum Stars at Bidvest Stadium, Free State Stars tackle SuperSport United at Goble Park and Mamelodi Sundowns will clash with Bloemfontein Celtic in Polokwane.

All games kick off at 3pm. — Sapa