Pirates celebrate as Ajax sink

2011-05-21 17:52

Drama, drama and more drama as the events that characterised this PSL season continued until the final whistle.

Football is a cruel game at times, and Ajax players and supporters can attest to that as they saw their chances of lifting their first-ever Absa Premiership title go up in smoke.

For Ajax Cape Town, this was the real Judgment Day, not the one which was predicted by an aging Christian fundamentalist. Perhaps Harold Camping was predicting Ajax’s fate after all.

Green Point Stadium resembled a cemetery as Ajax supporters and players alike fell to the ground at the sound of the final whistle, signalling the end of a dream and the cancellation of planned festivities.

Now only the DA will be celebrating in Cape Town after their election victory in the province.

It was a case of “so near, yet so far” for Ajax as they let the Championship slip away.

It will take some time for the team to recover from this, and veteran goalkeeper Hans Vonk will have sleepless nights for some time to come as his R10?million howler of the season cost his team the title.

With Ajax leading 1-0, courtesy of Khama Billiat’s first-half goal, the aging ‘keeper committed one of the biggest mistakes when he failed to clear a back pass from Clayton Daniels, only for United’s Gert Schalkwyk to pounce and level the score.

This goal was what the visitors needed to get back into the game after a lacklustre first half and, 10 minutes later in the 68th minute, Diyo Sibisi converted from the penalty spot to give the Maritzburg side the lead.

This after Daniels handled the ball inside the box.

Ajax’s hopes were fast fading and they needed something extraordinary to happen, but when Sameegh Doutie equalised with five minutes remaining, the writing was already on the wall. It was a case of too little too late for the hosts.

Interestingly, the two United goal-scorers, Schalkwyk and Sibisi, are Orlando Pirates and Ajax players respectively on loan to the Team of Choice.

So it was an Ajax player who cost them the league, or was it a case of a Pirates player doing his team a favour by winning the title?

After a miserable time at Pirates, Schalkwyk must now be a hero at the Buccaneers.

Surely, after his heroics here, the Bucs would welcome him back with open arms, knowing that he can be trusted when asked to perform?
However, the same cannot be said about Sibisi, who would have made enemies.

It would be interesting to know if his teammates would welcome him back next season.

This was not the kind of a send-off that coach Foppe de Haan and Vonk had expected.

They wanted to bow out with a bang.

But it was not to be and United spoiled their party.

Ajax looked dangerous from the onset as they put the visitors on the backfoot with an early onslaught.

With United having nothing to play for, they sat back and allowed the hosts to attack, and did well by absorbing the early pressure.

United ‘keeper Shauib Walters was the hero of the match as he made some stupendous saves. Better luck next time!

» ?Meanwhile, Knowledge Musona scored from the penalty spot to claim the R150 000 top goal-scorer prize, but his last-minute goal could not give Kaizer Chiefs the league title, as the results of the day meant that they finished third after Pirates and Ajax, with Sundowns coming in fourth despite a 3-1 victory over Bloemfontein Celtic.

Vasco da Gama will take part in the National First Division playoffs despite beating neighbours Santos 3-0.

Moroka Swallows beat relegated Mpumalanga Black Aces 2-0 away to move to 13th position and safety.

» All Absa Premiership results from yesterday:

Ajax Cape Town 2, Maritzburg Utd 2; AmaZulu 1, Kaizer Chiefs 2; Bidvest Wits 1, Platinum Stars 1; Free State Stars 0, SuperSport United 1; Black Aces 0, Moroka Swallows 2; Mamelodi Sundowns 3, Bloem Celtic 1; Orlando Pirates 2, Golden Arrows 1; Vasco Da Gama 3, Santos 0

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