Pirates held 2-2 by Ajax

2013-04-10 22:08

Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates set Cape Town Stadium alight in their four-goal Absa Premiership thriller which ended 2-2.

Abia Nale drew the first blood with a goal in the seventh minute of play, before second half goals from Takesure Chinyama and Mpho Makola almost handed Pirates the win.

The fixture bore a tremendous amount of weight for both Ajax and Pirates, as neither team could afford a loss if they wanted to keep their respective objectives of the campaign alive.

Jan Versleijen took inspiration from the decisive players in his line-up which beat Free State Stars and opted to play with an attacking trio of Abia Nale, Khama Billiat and Lebogang Manyama.

For Pirates, Andile Jali returned to the starting line-up after having faced a race against fitness to make the line-up.

The Cape club couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game when they managed to grab the lead just seven minutes in.

Jali lost possession, which allowed Billiat to supply a through ball for Nale and he slotted it past Senzo Meyiwa with ease.

Pirates then had the perfect opportunity to draw level through Thabo Matlaba, who gained possession on the right from an absent Cecil Lolo. He had just the goalkeeper to beat, but he skied his effort over the crossbar.

Then the ball was nearly turned into the back of Pirates’ net in the 20th minute when Lucky Lekgwathi intercepted Billiat’s cross, but luckily for him, it went out off the post.

Sander Westerveld was then booked for time wasting, ten minutes later, before Meyiwa easily dealt with Manyama’s free-kick.

Pirates were looking far from their convincing selves and it was Ajax who were creating most of the chances at goal and they nearly extended their lead in the final minutes of the half.

Billiat laid off a ball to Manyama, who supplied a pinpoint cross to Nale on the right flank. The trickster then made a great run into the box before stinging the palms of the Bucs shot-stopper.

Pirates made it 1-1 in the 49th minute through Takesure Chinyama who nodded a cross past Westerveld.

With a bee in their bonnet, Pirates came back firing and they added a second when substitute Mpho Makola tapped home a rebound off the post just four minutes later to make it 2-1.

Ajax’s response was immediate as Manyama supplied a through ball to Toriq Losper and he beat the last man to toe poke the ball into the back of the net, leaving 30 minutes for someone to seal the result.

The visitors were then handed a blow when Matlaba was forced off due to injury with Patrick Phungawayo coming on.

Billiat had the opportunity to close the score line 15 minutes from the finalwhistle, but his curled effort went agonisingly wide off the post, wrapping up the 2-2 scoreline.

Pirates are seven points behind league leaders Kaizer Chiefs with a game in hand.

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