Ajax snatch it at the death

Aiden Jenniker scored a goal on the brink of fulltime to help Ajax Cape Town secure a 2-1 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in Absa Premiership match at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The first hour of the game was a rather dull affair, but strikes by Nathan Paulse and the Ajax full-back saw them bounce back from a goal down to claim a crucial victory.

Ajax may have had the more promising start in terms of possession, but it was Celtic who created two shots on goal in the opening seven minutes.

Goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola grabbed onto a stray ball being chased by Frank Mhango, following some miscommunication in defence, before Vuyani Ntanga whipped a shot down the middle which the Finn held on to.

There was no goalmouth action which followed until the 21st minute when Ntanga again tried his luck from range, this time it drifted high of the goal.

Five minutes later Mhango, or Gabadinho as he is affectionately known, shot from range and it too went well wide. That opened up for Ajax to race up the field, but Dolly did the same thing with his own strike.

Ajax Cape Town were then dealt a blow with just eight minutes to go until the break with Toriq Losper having to be substituted in place of Telinho due to injury.

Celtic concluded the half with a few attempts at goal off some set-pieces and corner-kicks in which skipper Dominic Isaacs headed the most dangerous one out of play, keeping the scoreline at 0-0.

It should have been 1-0 to Ajax straight after the restart when Lebogang Manyama slotted a ball through to Eleazar Rodgers, but instead of sliding it into the back of the net, the striker toe-poked it wide.

Muhsin Etrugral was forced into making another injury-induced substitution in the 53rd minute, this time seeing Nathan Paulse come on for Rodgers who suffered a gash to his head.

The best moment of the game arrived six minutes later when Jaakkola brilliantly finger-tipped Gabadinho’s shot from range over the bar, undoubtedly the save of the evening.

It took a good hour for the game to come to life, but once it did, it was in style.

Celtic deservingly took the lead in the 63rd minute when Ntanga broke through the backline to tap home a right-footed effort into the back of the net, 1-0.

The goal seemed to spur Ajax into life as Paulse made it 1-1 just six minutes later following some good work by Keagan Dolly. The midfielder picked the ball up at the halfway line and ran up towards the box before slotting a through ball to the experienced striker who had the simplest of finishes.

Jaakkola pulled off another world class save to tip Ntanga’s right-footed strike over the bar, but it was Ajax who snatched it at the death when Aiden Jenniker cracked in a powerful left-footed drive into the top right-hand corner of the net in the final minute of play, 2-1.

Ajax Cape Town: (0) 2 (Paulse 69’, Jenniker 89)

Bloemfontein Celtic: (0) 1 (Ntanga 63’)

Teams: Ajax Cape Town: Jaakkola, Hlatshwayo, Isaacs, Krjauklis, Jenniker, Alexander (Scott 83’), Mobara, Manyama, Dolly, Losper (Telinho 37’), Rodgers (Paulse 56’)

Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Mahoa, Nthethe, Daniels, Buchanan, Lakay, Lamola, Letlabika, Ntanga, Nyatama, Mhango (Manzini 75’)