Cape Derby features top Cape Town teams

The Mother City’s two Premier Soccer League sides, Santos and Ajax Cape Town, will compete in a friendly match at the inaugural Cape Town Stadium Soccer Festival to be held at the new venue on January 23.

This prestigious annual event, sponsored by Virgin Active Clubs and MTN, will see the teams do battle in a Cape Derby, a fitting way to introduce local fans to their sparkling new sports facility.

Santos was formed in 1982 and were seasoned campaigners in the Federation Professional League (FPL), where they enjoyed tremendous success, Ajax Cape Town are a much newer club and so this fixture was first contested in the 1999/2000 Premier Soccer League season.

Ajax Cape Town was established after the amalgamation of the Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs Football Club’s who also enjoyed success in their time, the latter winning the League and Cup double in 1995.

The past 10 years have seen the duo become keen rivals, but always in a spirit of sportsmanship.

Santos won the first-ever match between the two sides after goals from the late Abram Raselemane and Mauritian international Jean-Marc Ithier, now an assistant coach at the club.

Current Ajax Cape Town skipper Brett Evans scored the only goal of the game in the Urban Warriors’ first League success in February 2001 when they claimed a 2-1 win in their fourth meeting, and they also sealed victory in the Rothmans Cup semifinals that year with a 3-0 goal average success.

Perhaps the most memorable fixture between the two to date was the 2003 ABSA Cup Final, which was an all Cape Town affair played at the Athlone Stadium.  The match drew a capacity crowd and was won 2-0 by Santos, with Tyren Arendse and Fees Moloi scored the goals.

More recently, the honours have belonged to Santos, who won both League encounters in the current 2009/10 Premier Soccer League season. The first, in August last year, was won 2-0 by The People’s Team, Evans netting an own goal this time and veteran Kenyan international Musa Otieno scoring the second.

The reverse fixture was won 1-0 by Santos as Erwin Isaacs scored the all-important goal.

But overall, the record between the two could not be much tighter. Of the 27 competitive matches played, Ajax Cape Town has won 12, Santos 11 and there have been four draws. Santos edge the goals count though, scoring 29 in that time to Ajax Cape Town’s 27.

The leading scorer in this fixture is Ithier, who has netted five times, all for Santos, while on the Ajax Cape Town side both Brent Carelse and Thembinkosi ‘Terror’ Fanteni have scored three goals, though neither still with the club.

Hosted by the City of Cape Town, 20 000 tickets will be sold for the Cape Town Stadium Soccer Festival as the operators of the stadium SAIL STADEFRANCE seek to test the stadium’s systems and processes by a slow build up to the full 68 000 capacity.

Tickets are available at all Computicket outlets and range in cost from R30 to R50. Parking tickets may also be purchased at Computicket outlets at a price of R20. It should be noted that only 3 000 parking bays will be available on a first come first serve basis. Tickets will not be available for sale at the stadium. Please ensure tickets are only purchased at Computicket outlets and not from individuals.

The City of Cape Town has arranged a FREE shuttle service from the Civic Centre in Hertzog Boulevard to the stadium and back, and all you need to do to use the facility is present your match tickets.

A Helpline has been set up for those who require further information on the event and can be reached on 021 487 6800.

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