Ajax, Arrows draw in PSL opener

Lamontville Golden Arrows and Ajax Cape Town earned a point each when their Absa Premiership encounter ended in a 1-1 draw at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Debutant Peter Wadabwa fired the home side ahead early in the second half before Lebogang Manyama netted the equalizer for the visitors.

The hosts dominated the early exchanges by using their width and created the first chance in the seventh minute when Wadabwa met Dumisani Zwane’s cross, only to send his header wide of goal.

Then it was the visitors who started creating some opportunities and in the 18th minute Keegan Dolly delivered a teasing cross from the left but Manyama arrived a second too late at the far post.

The first shot on target arrived just three minutes later with Dolly advancing through the middle before unleashing a powerful drive which almost caught Siya Mngoma by surprise, but the Arrows goalkeeper was able to palm the ball to safety.

Ajax were back in the attack in the 45th minute but Mngoma made another brilliant save to keep the scores level, coming out of his line quickly to block an effort from Toriq Losper.

The home side had one last opportunity to take the lead on the stroke of halftime when they were awarded a freekick on the right, only for Siphelele Hleleni to curl his effort wide.

The opening goal eventually arrived three minutes into the second half when Wadabwa buried his low shot past Brendon Petersen after the young goalkeeper had parried the ball straight into his path.

Manqoba Mngqithi’s men came close to doubling the lead in the 52nd minute when Hleleni lost his marker on the edge of the penalty area, only to send his shot inches over the crossbar.

The Urban Warriors should have leveled matters six minutes later when Manyama timed his run to collect a lobbed pass inside the penalty shot, but his effort was slapped away by Mngoma.

The game remained open and in the 65th minute Mandla Mdunge produced some good skill on the right side of the box to skip past his marker before sending his left-footed curler just over the crossbar.

Three minutes later Manyama made another good run to connect with a free kick from Thato Mokeke, but Mngoma pulled off another superb save to tip his headed effort over the crossbar.

However, Manyama eventually got it right in the 70th minute when he ran onto a well-weighted through-pass from Travis Graham before calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper from the edge of the box to level the score.

Arrows threatened to restore their lead eleven minutes later with Mdunge releasing substitute Bongi Ntuli on right with a neat flick, but the striker fired a tame shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Ntuli tried to make amends in the 86th minute when he collected the ball outside the penalty area before turning towards goal, but his effort flew over the crossbar, forcing the two sides to settle for a point each.

Lamontville Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Wadabwa 48’)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 1 (Manyama 70’)

Teams:

Lamontville Golden Arrows: Mngoma, Tom, Zwane S, Mngwengwe (Sithole 71’), Zwane D, Wadabwa, Nguzana (Ntuli 46’), Mndunge, Nene, Hleleni (Qalanto 81’), Luthuli

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen, Lolo, Hlatshwayo, Isaacs, Jenniker, Shabalala (Davids 86’), Van de Laak (Paulse 58’), Graham, Manyama, Losper, Dolly (Mokeke 61’)