Jaakkola shines as Ajax grab the points

Cape Times

John Goliath


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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 09: Anssi Jaakkola of Ajax CT during the Absa Premiership match between Ajax Cape Town and Golden Arrows at Cape Town Stadium on April 09, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images)

WHILE Ajax Cape Town’s strike force will take the plaudits after their 2-0 win against SuperSport United at Cape Town Stadium last night, the result was built on some outstanding defence and goalkeeping.

The Finnish goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola again underlined why is he has been one of the best foreign signings this season, as he again pulled off a few unbelievable saves against the Pretoria outfit.

But he was also assisted by young centreback Rivaldo Coetzee, Nazeer Allie and fullbacks Musa Lebusa and Cecil Lolo, who gave coach Roger de Sa a glimpse of the future when Thulani Hlatshwayo leaves the club at the end of the season. However, you can’t deny the effort of the attackers, as they gave the home faithful something to cherish in their final home match of the season.

There was a lot more purpose to the home side’s attack, as they went toe-to-toe with SuperSport. Tashreeq Morris opened the scoring for Ajax on the stroke of halftime, after he placed his shot beautifully past Ronwen Williams in the SuperSport goal.

Striker Eleazar Rodgers, who scored a brace in the last match against Golden Arrows, then sealed the win in the 73rd minute with a clinical finish after a great ball into his path by Toriq Losper.

The second goal came a few minutes after the visitors’ Enocent Mkhabela was shown a second yellow card after a foul on the industrious Keagan Dolly, who was again superb for the Cape side last night.

The wind caused all sorts of havoc for SuperSport in the first half, as the winter chill officially hit the Mother City after a few scorching days over the weekend.

Williams, though, wasn’t tested enough with a few high balls. But was probably because De Sa decided to start with a 4-3-3 formation that actually brought out the best in the Ajax forwards.

Jaakkola denied former Ajax striker Bradley Grobler and Bennett Chenene in the 17th and 27th minutes by staying on his feet in the penalty area and not diving in.

The goalkeeper then made a fantastic save to deny David Mathebula in the 31rd minute when Lolo was caught out of position.

However, Ajax would take the lead after SuperSport couldn’t clear their lines from a set-piece, as Morris then calmly slotted past Williams.

Grobler, and another former Ajax player Lebogang, Manyama then had two great strikes on goal, but Jaakkola again made two unbelievable saves to deny both players.

Rodgers then put the cherry on the cake after Losper again stole the ball in midfield before playing the lanky striker in to slot home.

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