Cale late strike wins it for Ajax

Ajax Cape Town came from two goals down to claim a stunning 3-2 away win over Bloemfontein Celtic at Kaizer Sebothelo Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Phunya Sele Sele looked on course for three Absa Premiership points when first-half goals from Lerato Lamola and Thapelo Morena left them 2-0 up at halftime.

However, the Urban Warriors fought back to level the game through Granwald Scott and Bantu Mzwakali before Franklin Cale scored deep into added time to secure all three points for the coastal side.

Celtic took control of the game from early on and very nearly opened the scoring in the sixth minute, as Tumelo Mogapi sliced the Ajax backline and fired a shot at goal only to be denied by an excellent save from Anssi Jaakkola.

Yet just four minutes later Lerato Lamola put the home side ahead, firing home a low shot first-time from a poor defensive header by Rivaldo Coetzee, who himself was looking to clear a slice from a teammate in the danger zone.

Ajax showed glimpses of working their way back into the game, but on 39 minutes they were dealt a blow when Celtic doubled their lead. Keagan Buchanan picked out Thapelo Morena with a square pass and the youngster surged past a couple of defenders before finishing coolly to make it 2-0.

The Urban Warriors were much improved after the break and pulled a goal back in the 54th minute. Bantu Mzwakali provided a fine cross from the left and Granwald Scott got ahead of his marker to steer the ball beyond goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb.

Mzwakali turned from provider to goal scorer 14 minutes later, curling home a great shot direct from a free kick to make it 2-2. The winger beat Tignyemb’s left hand to find the bottom corner of the net.

Celtic were jolted into life by the visitors’ second goal and almost reclaimed the lead immediately, but Lamola was guilty of shooting straight at Jaakkola when a square pass would have given strike partner Frank Mhango a tap-in.

On 81 minutes Phunya Sele Sele blew another great chance, as Bevan Fransman headed wide of the goal after arriving late at the back post to meet Buchanan’s perfectly-floated cross from the left flank.

Nazeer Allie almost scored a bizarre own goal as the clock ticked into regulation time, heading a cross onto the frame of his own goal, and Jaakkola then made a fine save from Mogapi, who latched onto the rebound and shot on target.

The match looked destined to end in a draw, but in the third minute of injury time Franklin Cale arrived late to pick up a square ball from the right flank, cut inside a defender and steered a shot beyond the ‘keeper to steal a dramatic 3-2 victory for Ajax.

The result sees Ajax move up to sixth, level on 40 points with fifth-placed Celtic. The teams will be in action again in midweek when the former hosts Moroka Swallows and the latter welcomes Free State Stars.

Bloemfontein Celtic (2) 2 (Lamola 10’, Morena 39’)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 3 (Scott 54’, Mzwakali 68’, Cale 90+3’)


Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Mogapi, Fransman, Bilankulu, Ndengane, Letlabika, Morena, Buchanan (Mzava 85’), Zuma (Mulenga 58’), Mhango, Lamola (Manzini 72’)

Ajax Cape Town: Jaakkola, Allie, Mobara, Coetzee, Jenniker, Mzwakali (Lolo 83’), Scott (Losper 79’), Morris, Graham, Cale, E. Isaacs (Paulse 64’)