CAPE TOWN – Courageous captain Mosa Lebusa popped up with a late, late winning goal to hand Ajax Cape Town a 1-0 win over Baroka FC at the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday night.
The result takes the Cape side on to 31 points and they move to third from bottom on the log. They still have to play Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs.
Second from bottom SuperSport United are on 29 points, but have three games to play. It is still very tight in the basement of the PSL.
The opening 45 minutes, to be brutally honest, was a painful exercise in frustration.
The quality was poor, the technical skills amateurish and there was just one clear shot on goal: when Ajax's Yannick Zakri looping header was tipped over by Baroka goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini. For the rest, it was just so disappointing.
You would think that, especially considering Ajax's precarious position, they would come out with purpose and commitment. But, in truth, they were just so flat.
Yes, they tried to get going, but there was no rhythm to their game. They lacked the intensity required of a team desperate for points. More than that, the nervousness wrought by their situation was palpably evident as everything they did was hurried.
As a result, they gave the ball away far too often, which made for a scrappy, disjointed first half.
In the second half, Baroka sat back deep in their own half and this allowed Ajax to dominate possession and territory.
With the Cape side having earlier made two substitutions in taking off two defensive players - Tercious Malepe and Isaac Nhlapo for attackers Toriq Losper and Sam Julies, they went for broke in search of a goal. But breaking down Baroka proved to be a really difficult task.
The team from Polokwane was superbly organized in defence and they never allowed Ajax the space to play between their lines - and they were always threatening on the counter too.
With 20 minutes to go, play started open up and, finally, Ajax managed to get through the tight Baroka defence. Julies had an inviting opportunity when he stabbed an effort from right in front of goal - it looked to be going in, but Dlamini reacted brilliantly with a last-ditch acrobatic save to deny the substitute.
Late substitute Sirgio Kammies could then have sealed it for Ajax, but the youngster's inexperience showed as he scuffed his shot from close in and the ball trickled wide.
With time running out, Ajax were in desperate need of a hero - and they found one in skipper Lebusa, who headed in seconds from the end to register a much-needed victory.