Absa Premiership

Ajax snuff out Stars for first win of the season

Prince Nxumalo (Gallo)
Prince Nxumalo (Gallo)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town’s wait for a first win of the 2016/17 Absa Premiership season is over, after they defeated Platinum Stars 3-2 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Tuesday.

The Urban Warriors scored through Bantu Mzwakali, Prince Nxumalo and an own goal from Dikwena goalkeeper Steven Hoffman, while the hosts netted consolations through Vuyo Mere and Benson Shilongo.

The first half was a catastrophe for Platinum Stars, who committed a string of defensive errors inside the first half hour to find themselves 3-0 down. From there, the match was always going to be beyond rescuing for the hosts.

In the 12th minute Mark Mayambela took advantage of some poor positioning to tee up Bantu Mzwakali to score the first goal and put the Cape side into a deserved lead.

Just three minutes later another defensive error saw Prince Nxumalo score his first goal of the 2016/17 season to make it 2-0 to the Urban Warriors.

Dikwena responded by withdrawing defender Sphamandla Mlilo and replacing him with the more experienced Siboniso Gumede midway through the first half.

However, Stars’ comedy of errors at the back continued unabated, as an Ajax attack in the 27th minute was rewarded with another goal – this time goalkeeper Steven Hoffman got the last touch into his own net to make it 3-0.

The home side came out in the second half with renewed energy, having no doubt been given a blasting by coach Cavin Johnson in the changeroom.

On 64 minutes they pulled a goal back, with veteran defender Vuyo Mere scoring with a left-footed strike to make it 3-1 and give them hope of a comeback in what remained of the match.

That hope was almost extinguished by Ajax’s Thabo Mosadi in the 78th minute, with the midfielder sending a fierce effort beyond the reach of Hoffman only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar.

Stars finally got a second goal deep in injury time through Benson Shilongo, but it did nothing to take the three points away from Ajax.

 

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