Brian Onyango grabbed the second goal for Maritzburg United against Ajax Cape Town. Photo: Gerhard Duraan, BackpagePix

Maritzburg United returned to their winning ways as they recorded a 2-1 Absa Premiership victory over an out-of-sorts Ajax Cape Town at the Harry Gwala Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night.

With assistant coach Fadlu Davids having taken over the caretaker coach role yet again – following the recent resignation of head coach Roger de Sa – the Team of Choice immediately seemed to deliver a more enterprising style of football.

And it came as no surprise when Belgian striker Andrea Fileccia side-footed the hosts into the lead in the 38th minute.

Ajax, going into the match winless in 2017 with just four draws to show from six league outings, struggled to break down the Maritzburg midfield.

Kenyan Brian Onyango doubled the home team’s lead in the 65th minute when he headed home a cross from a corner delivered by midfielder Manti Mekoa.

The second goal seemed to jolt some much-needed life into Ajax, who to their credit never gave up, and managed to exert some pressure on the Maritzburg goalmouth.

One of the build-ups led to Ajax’s Zambian defender Rodrick Kabwe scoring in the 85th minute which made for an entertaining finish.

But it was too little too late for the visitors as Maritzburg deservedly claimed all three points on the night.

Goalkeepers Virgil Vries (Maritzburg) and Jody February (Ajax) were kept busy throughout and did well to hold out various goal-bound efforts.

Maritzburg, who went into the match off the back of three consecutive losses (two in the league and an early elimination from the Nedbank Cup at the hands of Golden Arrows), now find themselves on 28 points from 22 matches and have a short break before travelling to Johannesburg to take on Orlando Pirates on April 11.

The defeat pushed Ajax closer to the relegation tussle – involving Baroka, Bloemfontein Celtic, Free State Stars and Highlands Park – as they are on 22 points from 22 games.

The Urban Warriors will need to pick up maximum points against Highlands in a home fixture on April 12.

African News Agency (ANA)