BETHLEHEM – Free State Stars recorded their third consecutive league win of the season as they outplayed Ajax Cape Town 2-0 in the Absa Premiership at Goble Park on Wednesday night.
Getting points off Stars at their home fortress is fast becoming a problem for PSL clubs, as Ajax found out when striker Edward Manqele scored his second goal in two years for the hosts to put Stars ahead three minutes before halftime.
Manqele’s strike partner Mohammed Anas doubled the score in the 51st minute.
Stars certainly did not look like a side that only managed to secure their premiership status on the final day of last season (and that on goal difference, which forced Baroka FC into the national playoffs).
Since the arrival of Belgian coach Luc Eymael, Stars have a new zest about their play, with the defence in front of goalkeeper Badra Sangare looking much more solid.
Ajax, who have now lost four of their seven league matches played this season, had their chances, with midfielder Thabo Mosadi just unable to get on to a cross which passed through the Stars penalty area in the 14th minute.
Four minutes before the break, the Capetonians had their best chance of the first 45 minutes, but defender Roscoe Pietersen saw his goal-bound header well kept out by goalkeeper Sangare.
The Urban Warriors, as Ajax are affectionately known, never gave up and showed great character in taking the game to the hosts.
They were nearly rewarded in the 79th minute when defender Mosa Lebusa linked up with Mosadi, but the latter was unable to get his header on target.
In the 66th minute, Ajax came within a whisker of reducing the deficit, but striker Tashreeq Morris was left frustrated as his powerful shot connected with the Stars’ woodwork and out of danger.
* In two other league games on the night, Baroka FC and Golden Arrows played to a 1-1 draw, while the Chippa United and Maritzburg United encounter ended goalless.
African News Agency (ANA), Staff Writer