Absa Premiership Ajax Cape Town vs Bloemfontein Celtic
Posted: 8 January 2016 Time: 19:56
A last minute penalty by Nathan Paulse saw Ajax Cape Town salvage a point after a 2-2 draw at Cape Town Stadium against an enterprising Bloemfontein Celtic side in the first Absa Premiership match of 2016.
Celtic started on a bright note and looked the better side for much of the first half.
It was no surprise when Vusi Shikweni found space and volleyed at goal for the first chance of the game inside the first minute.
Six minutes into the game and the swirling wind made a contribution when a swerving Toriq Losper cross put pressure on Celtic goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb, but even though he fumbled the ball, Ajax could not take advantage.
The visitors suffered a blow in the sixth minute when Mthokozisi Dube had to be taken off on a stretcher after falling awkwardly and dislocated his shoulder, before being replaced by debutant Aphiwe Lubisi.
Celtic then took the lead off the boot of Malawian striker Frank Mhango in the 21st minute.
The chance arrived following some clever attacking work from Lerato Lamola and Thapelo Morena in the build-up, but the ball landed at the feet of Mhango, who made no mistake with a first time shot past Anssi Jaakkola.
Celtic kept the pressure on Ajax and pushed hard for a second goal and they had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside.
In the 35th minute, Mhango was put through on goal and should have put his side 2-0 up but his lobbed effort failed find the target.
In the second half, Phunya Sele Sele had another good chance to go further into the lead in the 53rd minute, but Morena took too long to fire at goal allowing Abbubakar Mobara to make a crucial tackle.
Ajax made an early second half change and brought on Nathan Paulse who immediately made a difference as the home side started knocking long balls into the Celtic defence to find the lanky striker.
Just after the hour mark, Ajax were back in the match when Losper cut inside from the right wing and fired a left footed shot to the near post, which beat Tignyemb.
But Celtic again grabbed the lead in the 84th minute through the pacey Thapelo Morena, who burst through the Ajax defence and placed his shot past Jaakkola from Lamola’s through ball.
In the final minute of regulation time, Musa Bilankulu made contact with Losper’s leg inside the 18-yard area, even though it was not malicious, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Nathan Paulse made no mistake and earned his team a draw for their efforts.
HOME: Ajax Cape Town
Coach: Roger de Sa
AWAY: Bloemfontein Celtic
Coach: Serame Letsoaka