Cape Derby ends all square
Posted: 7 January 2009 Time: 21:27
Ajax Cape Town came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Santos in their rescheduled Absa Premiership encounter at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday night.
Musa Otieno gave Santos the lead just after halftime, but Mabhuti Khenyeza continued his excellent goal-scoring form this season with an equaliser seven minutes from time.
Ajax move two points clear of second-place SuperSport United, while Santos remain fifth, but are now level on points with Golden Arrows.
Khenyeza got off the first shot of the night on eight minutes with a snap-effort from 25-yards that was comfortably saved by Francis Chansa.
Eleazar Rodgers raced clear three minutes later at the other end, but a brilliant last-ditch tackle from Dipsy Selolwane did just enough to put him off his stride and send his shot wide of the target.
Sameehg Doutie found acres of space on the right-hand side, but instead of laying the ball across for Khenyeza, he selfishly went for goal and Chansa was able to beat away his effort.
Franklin Cale and Graham King traded long-range shots for either side, before Santos did have the ball in the back of the net. Rodgers laid on a brilliant pass for King, who slotted past Andre Petim, but was adjudged offside in a tight call from the assistant referee.
King looked at least level with the last defender and it was a cruel piece of luck for the ‘visitors’.
Khenyeza had an excellent chance to put his side ahead three minutes after halftime. Brett Evans swung in a free-kick from deep and Chansa missed the ball, colliding with his own player Rodgers, leaving Khenyeza with an open goal. The striker headed wide, however, when it seemed easier to score.
And Santos took the lead on 50 minutes through Otieno. The corner came in from the right and Eduardo Ferreira failed to clear for Ajax, leaving the Kenyan with a simple tap-in to score his third goal of the season.
Evans had a chance to equalise on 64 minutes when he had a free header from Cale’s corner-kick, but could only glance the ball wide of the far post.
Ajax pressed for an equaliser and it finally came with seven minutes remaining after an excellent dummy from Joseph Masel. Selolwane played the ball into the box and Cale’s brilliance fooled the defenders, with Khenyeza left with the simplest of finishes.
And the former Kaizer Chiefs striker had a chance to win it when he was left with time and space in the box, but fired his shot well wide.
Ajax will have little time to dwell on their performance as they travel away to Thanda Royal Zulu on Sunday, while Santos host Golden Arrows at the Athlone Stadium.