Ajax send Downs home empty handed

Ajax Cape Town heaped more pressure on PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns with a 1-0 victory at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.

The result means Pitso Mosimane’s side have taken just one point from their opening two league matches, while also being knocked out of the MTN8.

The first half was played in driving rain, with both sides starting the game in a positive vein, looking to take the game to their opponents.

But chances remained few and far between - the Urban Warriors had a third minute opportunity, but Keagan Dolly was unable to test Wayne Sandilands from well outside the box.

At the other end of the park, Ajax keeper Anssi Jaakola was on top of his game, doing well to take charge of any aerial balls into the box, although there was an anxious moment on four minutes when Tebogo Langerman’s cross ricocheted off a couple of players before being cleared.

There was also a Katlego Mashego half-chance, but he sent his snap shot well over the bar.

But for the most part, the Brazilians’ attempts to threaten the Ajax box with long balls failed to yield any dividends as the young Urban Warriors defence held firm.

The opening stanza ended in a setback for the Pretoria team as an injury to Lindokuhle Mbatha saw him being replaced by Anthony Laffor for the start of the second half.

It was always going to take something special to break the deadlock and it was Travis Graham who managed to come up with a moment of magic as he buried the ball in the far corner with a perfectly struck shot from 35-yards out on 50 minutes which skidded off the wet turf and past Sandilands.

The goal appeared to wake Sundowns up, with Langerman in particular providing great impetus down the left flank, but he was unable to pick out any teammates with several dangerous low crosses into the box.

There was a half chance for Niang, but his header flashed wide of goal as the visiting side continued to push for a goal.

The Brazilians then had a penalty appeal turned down after Rivaldo Coetzee tangled with Bongi Ntuli in the Ajax box, although it would have been a harsh call on the Urban Warriors centre-back.

At the other end of the field there was a chance for Nathan Paulse to double the host’s lead, but he was unable to get his 75th minute header on target, while Mario Booysen also missed the goal with a header for Sundowns a few minutes later.

There was an injury time chance for Themba Zwane to steal a point, but he blasted a half volley over the bar from only 14-yards out.

Ajax Cape Town (0) 1 (Graham 50’)

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 0


Ajax Cape Town: Jaakola, Lolo, Coetzee, Mobara, Lebusa, Graham, Scott, Nkoana (Davids 90‘), Dolly, Morris (Mulenga 65‘), Paulse

Mamelodi Sundowns: Sandilands, Langerman, Schut, Zwane, Booysen, Modise, Kekana, Pelembe, Mbatha (Laffor 46’) Mashego (Zwane 55‘), Niang (Ntuli 65’)