Ajax battle past Polokwane

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iol spt aug20 Ajax-Polokwane City Gallo Images Ajax Cape Town edged out Polokwane City 2-1 in their tightly contested Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Photo by Philip Maeta/Gallo Images

Polokwane – Ajax Cape Town edged out Polokwane City 2-1 in their tightly contested Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.

It was the visitors who settled into the match first as Thabiso Nkoana opened the scoring for the Urban Warriors in the first minute of the game after being well setup by Travis Graham.

Ajax could have doubled their lead in the third minute after but Grandwald Scott rifled the ball over the cross bar from a freekick.

City came close to levelling matters in the fifth minute but their talisman Puleng Tlolane powered his effort inches over the bar from a freekick.

In the 11th minute there was some great exchange of passes between Jabu Maluleke and Tlolane which caused problems for the Ajax midfield Mobara who was lucky not to get booked for his rough challenge on the Polokwane forward.

Six minutes later, City had the fans on the edge of their seats as a ferocious freekick by Maluleke produced a top drawer save from Anssi Jaakkola.

Despite Ajax beginning the match on a high note they slowly faded away and allowed the hosts to take total control of the game with Maluleke running the show in the middle of the park for City.

In the 26th minute both teams fluffed easy chances, for Ajax it was Abbubaker Mobara who missed a sitter with the goalkeeper Dino Visser already on the floor and Esau Kanyenda failed to level scores for City seconds later with only the keeper to beat.

In the 29th minute Kanyenda thought he had redeemed himself for the earlier miss as he stabbed the ball past Ajax goalkeeper Jaakkola but the goal was ruled out for offside.

Ajax responded swiftly as Nathan Paulse made a great run and played a cross for Tashreeq Morris who tucked the ball home to double the lead for the visitors in the 42nd minute.

In the second half, Ajax picked up from where they left off in the first stanza and nearly tripled their lead but Paulse's header from Dolly's cross was collected by keeper Visser in the 49th minute.

Graham was lucky to escape without getting booked in the 58th minute for a cynical challenge on City substitute Roger Majara who replaced the obsolete Thobani Mncwango.

Kanyenda was a constant thorn in the flesh for the Ajax defence who found his trickery too hard to deal with and Rivaldo Coetzee was booked for a rough challenge on the nippy Malawian in the 64th minute.

Against the run of play, Ajax created a half chance as the ball fell in the path of Scott but the Ajax midfielder lacked the required composure and squeaked the ball over the cross bar in the 70th minute.

Paulse worked his way past Tlou Molekwane who had to resort to illegal ways to bring the lanky striker to a halt and in the processes getting booked.

The win means Ajax remain unbeaten with two wins and a draw, while for City it was their second defeat of the season and they have one win to their name so far. – Sapa


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