Cape Town derby ends with 1-1 draw

A highly entertaining Absa Premiership Cape Town derby ended all square as Chippa United and Ajax Cape Town played out to a 1-1 draw at the Philippi Stadium on Saturday night.

Ajax played out the last 25 minutes with 10 men after Abia Nale’s red card.

The Urban Warriors took a 1-0 lead into the break through Mabuthi Khenyeza, with Welcome Qalanto coming off the bench to earn a point for Chippa, who finished the night two points behind Black Leopards and three behind Ajax, who moved out of the drop zone.

The home side was forced into a late change, a calf strain forcing Mbulelo Mabizela out, with James Okwuosa stepping into his place.

Early play saw both sides hesitant to throw too much forward in attack, preferring to rely on the counter-attack.

Chippa’s Issa Sarr had the first real chance of the game, glancing his 12th minute header wide of the goal, having been left unmarked at a corner kick.

But just a minute later and the Urban Warriors were ahead, Khenyeza scrambling the ball over the line after Khama Billiat’s cross had left Tashrique Goldman wrong-footed.

Ajax kept the pressure on Chippa and could have been in for a second if Billiat’s control had not let him down.

Ten minutes before the break and Ajax were saved by the bravery of Sean Roberts, who took a knock outside his box after having beaten William Twala to Carelse’s superb through ball.

The Chilli Boys had the first chance after the break as Mwaruwari pulled the trigger from the right hand side of the box, but Roberts did superbly to deflect the ball onto the post.

Asavela Mbekile then delivered a killer ball from the right, but his cross eluded everyone as it flew across the face of goal.

Chippa were then handed numerical advantage after Abia Nale was sent off in the 62nd minute, having picked up a second yellow card.

Andile Mbenyane had a chance to score on 67 minutes, but following a goalmouth scramble he skied his 15-yard effort over the bar.

Mbenyane was closer on 70 minutes, his well-hit drive from 30 yards being tipped over the bar by the impressive Roberts.

The pressure continued to mount for the Ajax defence, but they were finally cracked 15 minutes from time when Mwaruwari made an aerial ball his own, nodding a header across the goal to Qalanto, who volleyed home from close range.

Mbenyane could have won it late on for Chippa, but he smashed an 89th minute shot well wide of goal.

Chippa United (0) 1 (Qalanto 75’)

Ajax Cape Town (1) (Khenyeza 13’)

Chippa: Goldman, Gilbert, Okwuosa, Sarr, Nthombayithethi (Qalanto 74‘), Msekeli, Twala, Sali (Mbekile 46‘), Carelse (Amegnalo 90‘), Mbenyane, Mwaruwari

Ajax: Roberts; Lolo, Booth, Mokeke, Jenniker, Manyama (Wanderson 84‘), Shabalala, Graham (Lebusa 77‘), Billiat (Losper 70‘), Nale, Khenyeza