Ajax Cape Town scored a comfortable 3-1 win over Golden Arrows at the Newlands Stadium on Friday night, a result which takes them back to the top of the log.
The Urban Warriors were in control for most of the game and were rarely troubled by Arrows, the Cape side going three nil up until the KZN side grabbed a late goal.
There was early action for stand-in Ajax keeper Andre Petim when he had to race off his line in the second minute to stop Collins Mbesuma from getting on the end of a through ball.
With 10 minutes gone the KZN side were close to conceding a penalty when Mseketi Mvalo brought Sameehg Doutie down very close to his box.
Having already picked up a yellow card, coach Ernst Middendorp decided to take Mvalo off and replaced him with Mzivzukile Tom.
The Cape side had the better of play in the opening 20 minutes, but struggled to break down the Abafana Bes’thende defence.
When they did score, after 21 minutes, it came from a corner kick as Thulani Hlatshwayo looped a header into the top corner from a corner kick, the effort coming from a full 16-yards out.
Following the goal, it was Ajax who continued to attack and they had a couple of half chances – for Terror Fanteni, who had a goal ruled out for off-side, and Thulani Serero, but couldn’t add to the score-line.
Abafana Bes’thende left their best moments for just before the break as Norikazu Murakami saw his rocket of a free kick excellently saved by Petim and then Mbesuma flashed a header across the goal mouth.
With eight minutes gone in the second half, Serero once again underlined his brilliance when he left several defenders for dead before riffling a powerful left-footed drive in at the near post.
A wonderful move down the right saw Ajax making it 3-0 after 62 minutes as Fanteni squared for Serero, whose shot was parried by Siphamandla Ntombela, allowing George Maluleka to sneak in a score from close range.
The goal took the wind out of Arrows’ sails, and barring one or two half chances, the visitors never looked likely to score.
Indeed, the hosts could well have added a fourth if Fanteni had been a little more accurate and perhaps had a little more luck as he remained hungry for a goal up until the final whistle.
Abafana Bes’thende finally got on the score-sheet, though it was little more than a consolation goal as Mbesuma netted from the penalty spot, his first effort having been saved by Petim, who had his save ruled out for moving too early, giving the Zambian another bite.
Ajax though remained in control and on two occasions nearly got another goal through a crashing drive from Clayton Daniels and a header from the same player.
Ajax Cape Town (1) 3 (Hlatshwayo 21’, Serero 53’, Maluleka 63’)
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Mbesuma 83’ pen)
Ajax: (4-4-2) Petim; Hlatshwayo, Decamps, Daniels, Mjempu; Doutie (Soumah 73’), Scott, Maluleka (Katsande 73’), Carelse; Serero, Fanteni
Arrows: (4-4-2) Ntombela; Zwane, Sangweni, Musonda, Mvalo (Tom 15’); Manqana, Khuboni, Nkosi (Zothwane 76’), Moon; Murakami (Vilakazi 76’), Mbesuma