Ajax draw 1-1 with Baroka in Polokwane

Ajax Cape Town were held by Premier Soccer League rookies Baroka FC after playing to a 1-1 draw in their first 2016/17 Absa Premiership tie at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.

Although the Urban Warriors netted first through Nathan Paulse, an equaliser from Richard Matloga ensured both sides walked away with a point.

In the opening stages of the tie, Ajax were all over their opponents and in the eighth minute Paulse was fouled in the box by Siphelele Zikalala.

The referee pointed to the penalty spot and the experienced striker Paulse converted to make it 1-0.

After 18 minutes of play, Sipho Moeti exchanged good passes with Jacky Motshegwa in the middle of the park for the hosts and he managed to unleash a powerful shot which was saved by Brandon Petersen at the second attempt.

With three minutes to the half hour mark, Mathari Mothupa showed his class against the Urban Warriors but his cross had no-one to convert and Petersen collected with ease.

Motshegwa once again broke free in the 41st minute and was in a good position to pull one back for the hosts, but his attempt lacked power and the Ajax keeper made a fine save.

Despite putting pressure on Roger De Sa's men in the dying stages of the opening half, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele failed to utilise their chances.

It was 1-0 at the interval and upon their return from the tunnel, Kgoloko Thobejane's side put more pressure on Ajax.

Subsequently, their efforts were rewarded when Matloga netted from close range with a fine header in the 52nd minute after a decent cross from the left.

Thabo Mosadi nearly got something for the visitors in the 63rd minute when he passed two defenders in the box only to see his effort deflected for a corner.

With 15 minutes to go, a free header from defender Mosa Lebusa came close to punishing the Baroka defence from a decent corner on the right, leaving keeper Oscarine Masuluke relieved.

In the last six minutes, Baroka continued to search for a winner but Collins Makgaka was once again denied by Petersen, who was outstanding between the sticks for Ajax.

With many chances created by the hosts, the encounter failed to produce a winner as both sides shared the spoils.

Baroka FC (0) 1 (Matloga 52')

Ajax Cape Town (1) 1 (Paulse 9')

Baroka FC: Masuluke, Ravhuhali, Chauke (Jwara 71'), Shaku, Motshegwa (Mothwa 82'), Mothupa, Zikalala (Mogale 87'), Moeti, Makgaka, Mahashe, Matloga

Ajax Cape Town: Petersen, Chipeta, Coetzee, Lartey, Lebusa, Pietersen, Mdabuka, Mzwakali (Margeman 86'), Mosadi, Isaacs (Morris 68'), Paulse (Lupeta 83')