Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
3 minute read
11 Mar 2019
5:33 pm

NFD wrap: Ajax’s new hero helps keep dream alive

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Ajax Cape Town have a new hero in 31-year-old Dutch born player Thomas Verhaar who is slowly proving to be a great find for the Urban Warriors.

Ajax Cape Town players celebrate a goal scored by Thomas Verhaar (32) during the National First Division 2018/19 game between Ajax Cape Town and TS Sporting FC at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on 8 March 2019 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Verhaar scored a brace, taking his tally to four goals since joining from Sparta Rotterdam in the Netherlands in January.

The left-footed player helped the Urban Warriors to three points which keep them five points behind leaders Stellenbosch FC who have a game in hand after their match at Real Kings was stopped due to bad weather. With seven games to go, Ajax look likely to at least finish in the playoffs positions.

“We had a very difficult first half. The opponents had a kind of tactics that we struggled with as they were well organized. We were lucky that we scored and led 1-0 at halftime,” Ajax coach, Andires Ulderink said after the game as quoted on the club’s website.

“We dominated the game more in the second half. We were better on the ball. I think, after 25-30 minutes when we had the second goal, our level dropped again and I do not know why we stopped playing at 2-0. We have had this in several games were we stop playing after leading 2-0. We were lucky that they did not score to make it 2-1, it could have been nasty at the end,” he added.

The Urban Warriors’ next assignment is a tricky encounter against a resurgent Richards bay side who will also fancy their chances of finishing in playoffs positions after good run of late.

Uthongathi 1 (M. Ndwandwe) Richards Bay 0

The Cane Cutters continued their steady rise up the standings with a neat 1-0 over provincial rivals the Natal Rich Boys with Menzi Ndwandwe scoring the winner.

Witbank Spurs 1 (C. Dube) TS Galaxy 4 (Z. Lephasa x2; N. Ndlovu; S. Mdlinzo)

Dan Malesela’s Rockets side finally made him dance, scoring four goals in the demolition of relegation threatened provincial neighbours Siyavutha. Zakhele Lephasa continued his scoring form with a brace while  Nation Ndlovu and Sizwe Mdlinzo added a goal each. Cleopas Dube’s effort was but unhelpful as Siyavutha continue struggling.

Maccabi 0 University of Pretoria 1 (L. Gallardo)

Maccabi were shoved further into the relegation zone as they could not make use of their home ground advantage, losing 1-0 at home to AmaTuks. Lugiani Gallardo was the hero of the day for the Tshwane side as his goal was enough to seal the win and a precious three points.

Ubuntu CT 1 (D. Saal) Cape Umoya 2 (N. Paulse; G. Hammers)

Ubuntu were looking to put some space between themselves and the relegation places but it was not to be as the Spirited Ones had the same idea and were perhaps more determined. It was veteran striker Nathan Paulse and Gavin Hammers who scored for the visitors making Devon Saal’s effort look like a drop in the ocean.

Jomo Cosmos 1 (X. Mpontshane) Royal Eagles 1 (P. Cele)

Royal Eagles could not take full advantage of Ezenkosi’s bad form of late and were held to a draw which delayed their run towards the top of the standings. It was Ezenkosi who opened the scoring Xolani Mpontshane but Eagles’  in-form captain Philani Cele refused to let his side return home empty handed.

Mbombela United 2 (P. Sekome; B. Maliba) Tshakhuma1 (E. Manqele)

Edward Manqele continued to show why he was once considered one of the best strikers in the country as he opened the scoring, giving Tshakhuma some hope of coming away with something away but it was not to be. Phetholo Sekome cancelled out his effort before Bheki Maliba ensured Tingwenyama keep the three points and stay within the chasing pack. 

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.