Cape Town - Maritzburg United went down 3-1 to Ajax at a windy Cape Town Stadium on Friday night.
The match started off in frenetic fashion as Lebo Manyama tested Team of Choice goalkeeper Shu-aib Walters with a stinging first minute drive, but the Cape-born keeper made an excellent reflex save.
The hosts made no mistake a minute later though, Eleazar Rodgers found the target at the front post to turn home Aidan Jenniker’s inviting cross.
Maritzburg were unlucky not to get a fourth minute penalty when Keegan Dolly seemed to have fouled Peter Petersen in the box, but referee Victor Gomes elected to wave play on.
But Ajax were looking ruthless early on, and were 2-0 up after 13 minutes when Manyama thumped a stunning volley into the top corner.
Maritzburg striker Mohammed Yakubu had a dip at goal with a powerful shot beaten away by Anssi Jaakkola, who was also able to push away a subsequent effort.
Ryan de Jongh was close to pulling one back for the visiting side, but his 30th minute back post volley was off the mark.
At the other end of the field Maritzburg keeper Walters was keeping busy, making an excellent save to stop Dolly, who should have done better right in front of goal.
The second half had little goalmouth action until just shy of the hour mark. The Team of Choice conceded a penalty after Mohammed Awal took down Toriq Losper.
Manyama’s spot kick was saved by Walters, but a second penalty as awarded for infringing in the box and this time Manyama made no mistake.
Just two minutes later, the KwaZulu Natal side were able to pull one back when Delron Buckley slotted home from close range.
The match remained open for the remainder of the game, with Maritzburg sending in regular crosses into the Ajax box, but without reward. The Cape side held on for a comfortable win, their second in a row, while United have now lost four on the trot. - Sapa