Clinton Larsen’s well-organised Celtic worked frantically to deny Amakhosi the quick attacking they have displayed under Stuart Baxter this season, and were always a threat on the counter-attack too.
Chiefs, in turn, were forced to produce a supreme effort to break Celtic down, which they did especially well in two periods of tremendous pressure in the opening 20 minutes and midway through the second half, but Amakhosi could not bury their chances.
Ajax Cape Town stand-in coach Johannes Pruijn said club bosses had panicked in firing coach Maarten Stekelenburg last week, after his team clawed out a 1-0 win over AmaZulu in Durban on Saturday, writes Sbu Mjikeliso.
Stekelenburg was fired last week after a 5-1 defeat by AmaTuks – their third consecutive reverse.
“If you play too nice, you don’t create chances and you don’t have points and if you win none after three games plus the 5-1 loss to Tuks, for sure there is a certain panic in the club,” Pruijn said.
“Unfortunately the board didn’t trust or back the coach any more. Stekelenburg had one request [from the players]: try to win the [AmaZulu] game for yourself but also a little bit for me. He was still thinking – and I had the same belief – that he could have still turned things around.”
Maritzburg United might find themselves among the league leaders after this weekend’s run of Premier League fixtures but coach Ernst Middendorp is reluctant to make any prognosis of their potential for the season, writes Mark Gleeson.
“To say we are aiming for position six, seven or eight would be to miss the point of what we want to achieve. It’s more about setting the target of being able to challenge in every game and build ourselves up slowly. Already we’ve picked up more away points this season than before,” he said after the club beat Chippa United 1-0 in Cape Town on Friday night.
“Let’s wait and see. For the moment we are challenging ourselves only.”
Katlego Mashego scored the only goal as Moroka Swallows beat Free State Stars 1-0, before the Birds skipper Lefa Tsutsulupa announced they were capable of winning everything this season, writes Ramatsiyi Moholoa.
“Getting a win in Stars’ back yard is a great achievement for us. We are not only targeting the league, we still have the Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup for which we must also challenge. We have a good team that is capable of winning everything on offer, but we have to work hard.”