Cape Town - Although they were the better side, Ajax Cape Town were defeated by Free State Stars 2-1 during their Nedbank Cup Last 32 encounter at Athlone Stadium on Saturday night.
Two goals from each half by Nhlanhla Vilkazi and Ayanda Nkosi allowed Ea Lla Koto to go through to the Last 16 whilst the hosts grabbed a consolation goal following an own goal.
In the 22nd minute, the hosts continued to probe for an opener and it was Bantu Mzwakali who had a wonderful opportunity to score but he failed to beat the goalkeeper.
The visitors showed hunger after 20 minutes of action, but failed to create clear cut chances as Ajax keeper Anssi Jaakkola remained a spectator.
Roger De Sa's men had a chance to bag a goal when Ndiviwe Mdabuka failed to put his header on target.
Against the run of play, Ea Lla Koto netted first through Nhlanhla Vilakazi when he received a great pass from Nkosi on the right before finishing with a volley with one minute to the interval.
The Urban Warriors pulled one back after a confusion between Mathole and Chabalala - they failed to communicate and that resulted in an own-goal from Mzwakali's delivery from a corner kick.
It was 1-1 at the break but in the in the 52nd minute Ajax forced a save from Mathole when he punched a great cross away.
Giovanni Solinas's men nearly grabbed the lead in the 58th minute when Chabalala found the back of the net, but he was adjudged to have been offside after beating Jaakkola on his near post.
The hard working Danny Venter continued to terrorise Ajax and he made it easy for Nkosi to beat Jaakkola as he played the attacker the ball in the penalty area.
Nkosi's first touch made it easy for him to beat Jaakkola and he easily slotted the ball home making it 2-1 with less than 30 minutes to go.
With less than 15 minutes remaining, Jaakkkola produced a great save by to deny Nkosi.
In the dying minutes of the clash, the Cape Town-based side made all the attempts to get back into the encounter, but they crashed out of the Ke Yona tournament.
Ajax Cape Town: (1) 1 (Chabalala og 45')
Free State Stars: (1) 2 (Vilakazi 44', Nkosi 66')
Ajax Cape Town: Jaakkola, Mobara, Lartey, Coetzee, Lebusa, Isaacs (Losper 69'), Mdabuka (Norodien 69'), Langwe, Mzwakali (Hartog 64'), Graham, Morris
Free State Stars: Mathole, Masehe, Vilakazi, Kerspuy, Makhaula (Mashego 87'), Chabalala, Jaftha (Sekola 64'), Nkosi, Mohome, Tlhone, Venter