His Kaizer Chiefs counterpart, Stuart Baxter, meanwhile, shook hands with his bench and you could see Baxter telling his staff “tough luck guys”.
The Urban Warriors had just beaten the defending Absa Premiership champions 1-0 at Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday night to see Chiefs suffer their second defeat of the campaign.
But it had been close. Tashreeq Morris headed home the deciding goal with three minutes left.
Both teams had an attacking mindset, though Chiefs’ inroads into the home side’s territory were minimal. And though Ajax dominated the proceedings, finishing remained their Achilles heel.
Ertugral praised his charges, a side made up of youngsters with limited PSL experience. He faced his former team knowing that Chiefs, en route to winning the title, lost 3-1 to Ajax at the same venue in May.
Ertugral has had a headache in the past couple of weeks with nine of his players injured and Franklyn Cale out for the season.
“From what I have seen for the last three weeks in terms of losing our players through injury has made me angry, but I have been trying to keep calm,” he said.
Ertugral gave starts to five youngsters, a move which looked like a gamble, but it pleasingly paid off.
Abbubaker Mobara, Telinho Ernesto, Mosa Lebusa, Toriq Losper and Cole Alexander started the match and did not disappoint the coach.
Ertugral’s opposite number Baxter expressed disappointment with the defeat but said his side needed to go back to the drawing board and bounce back in their next match.
“We are obviously disappointed that we got nothing from this game,” he said.
“We have to go back to Johannesburg and lick our wounds and sharpen our swords and be ready for the next game.”
Chiefs face Bidvest Wits on Saturday night at FNB Stadium.