POLOKWANE - Two-time cup winners Ajax Cape Town bowed out of the Telkom Knockout competition as they went down 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out to Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams have struggled in their respective league campaigns this season and a shortage of confidence was evident as neither side was able to break the deadlock in 90 minutes of play or 30 minutes of extra time.
Ajax had the better scoring chances with former Supersport United and Mamelodi Sundowns defender Mario Booysen heading wide from a set piece in the 29th minute, while young striker Tashreeq Morris could not get the better of Polokwane's Zimbabwean goalkeeper George Chigova in a one-on-one situation four minutes later.
Ajax striker Prince Nxumalo, who netted both goals in his side's 2-0 league win over Polokwane in Cape Town last month, had the best chance of the match in the 37th minute but saw his effort brilliantly saved by Chigova.
A minute before halftime, Polokwane nearly found the back of the Ajax goal-net, but this time the Urban Warriors's goalkeeper February was alert to pull off a close range save from home team striker Rodney Ramagalela.
Prior to the penalty shootout, goalkeeper February must have fancied his chances since this game was his first clean sheet in 4 outings, but even at the age of 21 years, he would have known that penalty shoot-outs are always a lottery.
The victory would have been sweet for Polokwane too, who seem to have turned the corner after four back-to-back losses, and looked good in a recent 2-all draw against Golden Arrows.
Polokwane will have little time to recover as they prepare for their next outing which is a home league encounter against Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday, while Ajax's next match is league action against bottom-of-the-log Platinum Stars in Rustenburg on Wednesday.
African News Agency