/ 24 April 2008

Ajax back on top

Ajax Cape Town’s brave 2-0 win over Orlando Pirates at the Athlone Stadium saw them reclaim their position at the top of the Absa Premiership standings.

There was action from the outset as Ajax started the game at a cracking pace, with Nhlanhla Shabalala and Nathan Paulse bringing out saves from Bucs keeper Senzo Meyiwa within the opening six minutes.

Pirates had the ball in the back of the net in the 10th minute through Excellent Walaza, but the goal was disallowed for off-side.

Paulse then wasted a good opportunity when a poor first touch saw him failing to capiltilise on Dominic Isaacs’s through-ball.

Meyiwa had an outstanding first half and again denied Ajax when he saved brilliantly from Shabalala in the 37th minute.

But there was nothing he could do deep into first-half stoppage time as Paulse rose majestically to power home Mkhanyiseli Siwahla’s corner.

After the all-action affair in the first 45 minutes, the second half saw the game settling down a bit, with the only noteworthy chance falling to Siwahla in the 57th minute, when his free kick hit the side-netting.

The Soweto side looked more fluent in the second half and Ajax were made to work hard to preserve their slender lead.

After Joseph Makhanya fired a pile-driver over the bar in the 69th minute, Ajax keeper Morgan Cathey did brilliantly to save from point-blank range from Bennett Cehnene a minute later.

While an equaliser always looked to be a distinct possibility, Ajax made sure of the win in the 93rd minute when Mwafulirwa burst through on goal and tapped in from close range after seeing his initial effort bounce back off the upright. — Sapa