Ajax Cape Town 2017 Bayhill Premier Cup captain, Luthando Mateza, has called on his troops to show more composure in the penalty area.
The Urban Warriors struggled to kick into gear in their opening match against Stephanians Ottery at Erica Park on Thursday, but finally found the games opener on the cusp of half-time – this following several squandered opportunities.
Juanito Manuel’s opener calmed the nerves as last years runners-up came out flying following the interval, with the winger completing his brace after Sonwabile Mfecane had doubled Ajax’s lead.
Leo Thethani added a fourth before Manuel missed a penalty – it mattered little, though, as Vladislav Heric’ men got their campaign off to a winning start.
“The first game, I feel the players were a bit nervous and shaky – it is understandable because it was the first game of the tournament,” said Mateza.
“After a while we really started to dominate the game and we got the result that we needed, exactly what we wanted so I am really happy for the players and the coaching staff.
Mateza continued: “I told our attackers to remain calm, to be composed in the box. In the first few minutes we lost our focus in the penalty area, I told them to show more composure and if we score one we will have opportunities for more goals because then they will have to come at us.
Moreover, the 19-year-old, who has broken into the Premier Soccer League team – is hopeful that more of his teammates will follow in his footsteps in the near future.
“Being the captain, I am really proud that I have been given the honour of leading the team,” Mateza added.
“I would like to thank the coaching staff for supporting me, everyone at the club. Hopefully we will see more players from the Bayhill team joining me in the first team after the tournament.
“I just want to thank the fans for supporting us, hoping to see them there for the whole tournament,” he concluded.