Ajax snatch first away win

Two missed penalties on either end of the park saw Ajax Cape Town claim their first away win of the Absa Premiership season as they beat a ten-man SuperSport United side 2-1 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Two goals in two minutes from Aidan Jenniker and Sibusiso Zuma sparked a dramatic end to the game which saw the Cape side secure a crucial win.

Both teams came into the game with a personal score to settle after the hosts had lost to Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knockout on the weekend, while Ajax’s return to form suffered a set-back with the 3-1 home defeat to Moroka Swallows.

Ajax came into the game with the motivation of knowing that a win would lift them to eighth on the log and they had the ball in the back of the net as soon as the second minute through an Eleazar Rogers header.

The goal didn’t stand, however, as Rodgers was blown for a foul on Bevan Fransman when rising up to meet the ball.

Opportunities followed for both Rodgers and Lebogang Manyama but they both saw their efforts go wide of the far post inside the opening ten minutes of the game.

In the 16th minute, David Mathebula pulled the ball back for Bennet Chenene and he unleashed a powerful daisy-cutter which sailed over Anssi Jaakkola’s goal.

Midway through the half, Lance Davids was lucky not to walk away with a booking after he laid on a heavy studs-up challenge on Chenene’s ankle.

Rowen Fernandez then pulled off a great save just eight minutes before the break when he denied Lebogang Manyama from unleashing a shot at goal following an excellent counter-attack from SuperSport’s corner.

However, it didn’t stop Ajax from grabbing the lead a minute later. Rodgers finally got the goal he had been searching for when he slid home Manyama’s cross past the veteran ‘keeper to give them ahead in the break.

Cavin Johnson made one change at the break, bringing on Sameegh Doutie in place of Chenene who was suspected to be battling with the earlier knock from Davids.

The latter suffered a similar fate and he couldn’t continue any longer, resulting in him being replaced by Aiden Jenniker. His introduction reverted Ajax back into their 4-4-2 formation after the starting the game with a back three.

Jaakkola, who had barely been tested, made a great save to push Mor Diouf’s ball over the cross bar on the stroke of the hour mark.

The home side were doing well to exert pressure on Ajax but the Urban Warriors’ defence held tight as Ritus Krjauklis fended off Mathebula’s cross into the box with 15 minutes to go.

Ajax had the perfect opportunity to go 2-0 up when they were awarded a penalty after Fransman was judged to have brought down Bantu Mzwakali in the box.

Replays show that the defender had in fact won the ball but justice was served as Fernandez brilliantly saved Thulani Hlatshwayo’s 81st minute spot kick.

That however resulted in another attack by Ajax and Mzwakali was denied by the crossbar after brilliantly chipping the ‘keeper, but that movement opened the flood gates for two goals in two minutes.

Aiden Jenniker doubled the lead with bursting run into the box to beat Fernandez at the near post, before a penalty was awarded to the home side in the 85th minute.

Jaakkola denied Sibusiso Zuma from the spot but he couldn’t help prevent the striker from converting the rebound which made it 2-1 to Ajax.

Fransman was then given his marching orders in stoppage time after receiving his second card for a foul on Keagan Dolly.

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Zuma 86’)
Ajax Cape Town (1) 2 (Rodgers 38’, Jenniker 85’)

United: Fernandez, Nkausu, Fransman, Diouf, Mdledle, Gyimah, Nel (Maluleke 76’), Phala, Chenene (Doutie 46’), Mathebula, Niang (Zuma 65’)

Ajax: Jaakkola, Hlatshwayo, Isaacs, Krjauklis, Davids (Jenniker 51’), Alexander, Ernesto, Losper, Manyama (Mzwakali 70’) Dolly, Rodgers (Paulse 61’)