AJAX Cape Town beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in a scintillating Absa Premiership encounter at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was a frustrating night for the Gauteng side as they saw numerous chances wasted and also hit the bar twice – certainly Chiefs would have felt they deserved a draw at the very least.
The first half saw the visiting side enjoying by far the better and more numerous chances on goal, yet still went into the break 1-0 down.
The game got off to a thrilling start, with Ajax under severe pressure from a rampant AmaKhosi attack.
After a series of corners and crosses, Chiefs nearly took an 11th minute lead when Bernard Parker struck a fierce drive at Sean Roberts, who pushed the ball onto the upright as he made the save.
Other than that there was also a free kick by Reneilwe Letsholonyane which went over the bar and a curling effort by Siphiwe Tshabalala, straight at Roberts.
It was however at the other end of the field that the first goal came as the under-fire Itumeleng Khune brought down Terror Fanteni, who picked himself up to give the Cape side a 20th minute lead from the spot.
The Soweto side were unlucky not to grab a 27th minute equaliser when Sthembiso Ngcobo sent a header just inches wide.
Five minutes later Lucky Baloyi carved out a great chance, but his cross went wasted as no-one was on hand to apply the finishing touch, and then soon after Thomas Sweswe was unlucky not to find the net with his first-time volley following a corner kick.
It took Chiefs however just three second half minutes to get back into the game as Letsholonyane’s delightful curling shot left Roberts rooted to the spot.
Following the goal, the game continued to swing from end to end with half-chances for Chiefs via Ngcobo and Tshabalala, while for Ajax, Fanteni’s near-post effort was easily saved by Khune, who also stood firm in front of Lebo Manyama’s well struck free kick.
In the 75th minute however the Cape side were back in front when the ball bounced kindly for Manyama, who took his chance superbly as he slotted past the on-coming Khune.
Chiefs again tried to regroup and created a few problems for the Ajax defence, although Baloyi should have done better with his parting shot in the 85th minute, which Roberts did well to keep out.
Tinashe Nengomasha was then also close as his header looped just over the cross bar with three minutes to go.
Then, well into injury time, AmaKhosi were again denied by Roberts, who pushed Lehlohonolo Majoro’s header onto the bar.
Ajax Cape Town (1) 2 (Fanteni 20’ pen, Manyama 75‘)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 1 (Letsholonyane 48’)
Ajax (4-4-2): Roberts; Hlatshwayo, Allie, Mokeke, Jenniker, Manyama, Shabalala (Alexander 77‘), Maluleka (Lolo 65‘), Vilakazi; Billiat, Fanteni (Correia 71’)
Chiefs (4-4-2): Khune; Tau, Sweswe, Isaacs, Jambo; Baloyi (Dladla 85‘), Nengomasha, Letsholonyane (Masango 85‘), Tshabalala; Parker, Ngcobo (Majoro 70’)-Backpagepix