Phakaaathi Reporter
1 minute read
6 Jan 2018
8:26 am

Ajax let lead slip against Maritzburg

Phakaaathi Reporter

Ajax Cape Town surrendered an early lead at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night to go down 2-1 to Maritzburg United in a lively league encounter.

Brandon Petersen of Ajax Cape Town is beaten by a goal from Siyanda Xulu of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 football match between Ajax Cape Town and Maritzburg United at Cape Town Stadium. (Chris Ricco/BackpagePix)

Ajax made the perfect start, going ahead after only five minutes when Tashrique Morris powered in a simple header at the back post from Tercious Malepe.

The Team of Choice slowly but surely played themselves back into the game and were close to scoring when Deolin Mekoa’s 20th minute pile-driver was tipped over the bar by Ajax keeper Jody February.

Shortly after that Mohau Mokate sent a shot just wide of the upright as Maritzburg continued to threaten.

The KZN side kept up the pressure and had a couple of penalty appeals turned down as Ajax were forced into some desperate defending, including a goal-line clearance from Malepe.

At the other end of the field, a rare chance for the Cape side three minutes before the interval saw Mario Booysen’s header well saved by Richard Ofori.

Maritzburg restored what was deserved parity just 40 seconds after the restart after they broke down the left, before working the ball to Mekoa, who fired in a clinical drive from a tight angle.

Ajax could have reclaimed their lead on 61 minutes when the ball broke kindly for Morris, but he skied his shot into the stands.

But instead it was the visitors who went in front, with Siyanda Xulu heading home a powerful header after a Mekoa corner kick with 20 minutes to play.

The Team of Choice were able to tighten things up at the back to good effect in the closing stages of the game, and Ajax never really looked like mounting any kind of come-back as they lost to Maritzburg for the second time this season.