Urban Warriors defeat Phunya Sele Sele
Posted: 1 October 2008 Time: 21:33
The Cape side stormed to seven points in the 2008/09 Absa Premier League on a miserable night at Athlone Stadium.
Ajax easily beat Bloemfontein Celtic 2-0 on a cold, rainy and windy night, with goals from Mabhuti Khenyeza and Eduardo Ferreira.
The Urban Warriors did all the attacking early on and looked threatening out wide, but poor crossing and some lacklustre offensive play by Sifiso Vilikazi let them down on occasions.
In the tenth minute Sameehg Doutie found himself in some space on the right and delivered a decent cross into the box. Vilikazi got in front of his marker and headed the ball just wide when he should have done better.
Then, in the 13th minute, Doutie provided another telling in-swinging cross from the left; but Vilikazi seemed to have his eyes shut as he jumped to header the ball, and with the goal at his mercy, missed the ball completely.
Ajax appeared to be taking a stranglehold of the midfield, winning most of the challenges in the middle of the park.
The only defiance for Celtic in the first half came from Mark Mayambela who was the source of most of their play. His confidence was evident when he took on a couple of players in the 23rd minute before letting off a ferocious shot from 40 yards out that had the Ajax keeper beat, Sean Roberts could only watch as the ball just sailed over the crossbar.
However, Ajax continued to look dangerous when they attacked down the flanks. Brett Evans provided another good in-swinging cross from the right in the 25th minute but no one in the box made any effort to meet it.
In the 42nd minute Craig Rosslee must have thought his side would never score after a great one-two allowed Mabhuti Khenyeza to put Vilikazi through on goal with just the keeper to beat, but he shot straight at Shu-Aib Walters who pulled off a fantastic save.
Finally in the 46th minute of the first half Khenyeza put the Urban Warriors in front from the penalty spot after Doutie appeared to have been brought down inside the box by Cyrille Mubiala. It was a soft penalty but Khenyeza made no mistake as he expertly slotted the ball past Walters: 1-0.
The two teams kicked-off the second half in heavy rain which made playing conditions tough and the field beneath the player's feet slippery. It didn't take Ajax long to assert their dominance over Phunya Sele Sele in the second stanza.
As early as the 49th minute Kheneza had the perfect opportunity to add to his team's lead when an inch perfect cross from the left found him inside the box, he tried to side-foot the ball home, but just skimmed the wrong side of the post.
In the 55th minute Khenyeza showed some brillance again when he put Vilikazi through on goal again with a superb pass. Vilikazi beat the keeper this time but his shot was cleared off the line by Timothy Batabaire.
There was plenty of drama in the game and this was highlighted in the 58th minute when Batabaire was handed his second yellow card within minutes and resulted in his sending off. From the resulting free-kick Eduardo Ferreira doubled Ajax's lead as he rose above the defence to head home a brilliant in-swinging cross from Doutie, 2-0.
Celtic tried desperately to pull one back. In the 64th minute Roberts pulled of a good save from point-blank range as Geoffrey Serunkuma failed to beat him.
However, it was clearly not to be Phunya Sele Sele's night as Moses Spandeel squandered a golden opportunity in front of goal in the 68th minute; and Sereunkuma was one-on-one with the keeper and he unselfishly slipped the ball to Spandeel on his right, but his shot struck the cross bar with an empty net at his mercy.
Ajax slowly took control of the game and closed it out professionally. The game ended 2-0 and the Urban Warriors ran out deserved winners.