The Urban Warriors play their second match in Gauteng in the space of four days and will be keen to make a quick recovery from their 3-2 loss at the hands of Supersport United on Tuesday that threw the title race wide open.
Craig Rosslee’s team relinquished a 2-1 lead and allowed Matsatsantsa to claim a 3-2 win that cut their lead at the head of the table to just a single point.
And, as they prepare to face fifth placed Wits at the BidVest Stadium, the Cape side know that they cannot afford another slip up if they are to deliver a first-ever league title – a mere six points covers the top five teams, any of whom could yet go on to claim the championship in May.
Wits also head into the match off the back of a defeat (2-1 at the hands of Santos in Cape Town) on Tuesday, but they are likely to be motivated by the prospect of avenging the 5-2 thrashing Ajax gave them on October 31 last year in the first half of the Absa Premiership season.
On that occasion a double from Russell Mwafulirwa inspired the Cape side to a convincing win, but Wits are unlikely to fold quite so readily in their own backyard.
In fact, the Clever Boys could move up to third place with a win that would put them just three points behind Ajax.
And the Johannesburg team has a slight edge in head-to-head statistics: Wits have won five matches to Ajax’s four in their 15 league games since 1999/2000 and have outscored them 14 goals to 13.
However the Urban Warriors’ Cameroonian player Eyong Enoh is adamant they are still firmly in the driving seat and tells KickOff.com that will bounce back in style and prove wrong their critics, starting with Wits on Friday.
Eyong Enoh, arguably among the best performers in the young Cape Town outfit’s quest for a maiden league title, is philosophical about the latest turn of unimpressive events.
“The road to success is not always an easy one and we have to put the results behind us and take forthcoming matches with determination and vigour.”
The Ikamva club also has additional challenging fixtures ahead for the remainder of March.
After locking horns with Wits, Rosslee’s lads have a date with vastly improving Platinum Stars at home. In-between, they clash with rivals Chiefs in a potentially explosive last 32 duel of the inaugural Nedbank Cup.
They are also set to meet Anse Reunion of Seychelles in their first Confederations Cup fixture.
CAF gave Ajax a bye in the first round of the competition and now they meet the Reunion cup representatives who defeated Petite Rivieri Noire 2-1 on their artificial turf in Reunion and held the Mauritians to a goalless draw in the second leg match to advance 2-1 on aggregate.
LAST FIVE RESULTS
Wits: Date H/A Opponent Result 04/03/08 A Santos L 1-2 29/02/08 H Supersport United D 0-0 24/02/08 A Mamelodi Sundowns W 3-2 20/02/08 H Kaizer Chiefs L 0-2 16/02/08 A Orlando Pirates L 0-2
Ajax: 04/03/08 A Supersport United L 2-3 01/03/08 H Kaizer Chiefs D 1-1 24/02/08 A Jomo Cosmos W 1-0 20/02/08 H Thanda Royal Zulu W 3-0 16/02/08 A Black Leopards W 2-1
HEAD-TO-HEAD STATS League meetings since 1999/2000
1999/2000 Wits 3 (Magalefa 2, Qaba) Ajax 1 (Katza) Ajax 0 Wits 0
2000/01 Wits 3 (Dladla, Casner, Mohlolo) Ajax 1 (Permall) Ajax 0 Wits 0
2001/02 Wits 0 Ajax 0 Ajax 0 Wits 1 (Dlaldla)
2002/03 Ajax 0 Wits 1 (Devine) Wits 0 Ajax 0
2003/04 Ajax 0 Wits 1 (I. Winstanley) Wits 1 (Bunjira) Ajax 2 (Igesund 2)
2004/05 Wits 0 Ajax 0 Ajax 2 (Carelse 2) Wits 1 (Yohane (pen))
2006/07 Wits 1 (Chivuta) Ajax 1 (Moon) Ajax 1 (Carelse) Wits 0
2007/08 Ajax 5 (Mwafulirwa 2, Moon, Winstanley (og), Fanteni) Wits 2 (Chivuta (pen), De Jesus)