AmaTuks stun Ajax to reach final
Posted: 26 April 2009 Time: 17:57
First Division side University of Pretoria beat Ajax Cape Town 2-1 after extra time in the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup.
All the goals in this entertaining clash were scored in extra time. Tukkies will now face Moroka Swallows in the Nedbank Cup final on May 23.
The cup tie was played at Johannesburg’s BidVest Wits Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The match started on an entertaining note with both sides creating chances thanks to their willingness to attack. The biggest miss early came on from Urban Warriors striker Mabhuti Khenyeza, who took too long from close range and, as a result, was blocked by a defender from scoring the opening goal.
Tukkies, however, continued to play good soccer and got the upper hand the further the first half progressed, creating two great chances to score. Firstly, in the 19th minute, Tukkies’ Swazi striker Phinda Dlamini delivered a good ball from the left into the box.
Thabo Moleko didn’t get the ball on target, but it then bounced off a defender in front of Mthokozisi Yende. The striker shot the ball wide of the post, while he should at least have tested Ajax keeper Andre Petim.
Shortly thereafter, the speedy Moleko entered the Urban Warriors from the right, but he forgot to pass the ball towards the penalty spot to a waiting teammates. Instead, he went for personal glory trying to score. Ajax keeper Petim made a fine save.
Moleko got another chance in the 38th minute, but again he failed to put the ball in the opponent’s net. First division side Tukkies were by far the better side in the first half and deserved to have gone into the dressing with an advantage.
Ajax, the premier league side, played counter-attacking soccer, hoping that sooner or later their talisman Khenyeza would find the net.
The second half started more or less like the first half finished with Tukkies having the better play, always looking dangerous when one of their wingers, Moleko and Phenyo Mongala, had the ball. The central midfield of the Tshwane-based side also did well with Shafeeq Arendse and Andile Jele in control.
Pretoria of University substitute Thokozani Sekotlong got an opportunity in the 70th minute, but his shot went wide. Slowly, however, Ajax started to play a bit better and Nhlanhla Kubeka’s header wide from a corner.
Another chance went wasted for Tukkies when Mongala delivered an excellent cross into the box from the right which came to Manti Moholo, but he also failed to hit the target. It looked, however, as if the AmaTuks players, which had given so much already in the first half, got tired towards the end of the ninety minutes.
The cup clash went into extra time and it was the University team that finally got their goal in the 97th minute thanks to their striker Yende. However, that was also the time when Ajax finally seemed to wake up and they equalised four minutes later thanks to their defender Kubeka, scoring from close range.
But it was Moholo who gave Tuks the lead again in the 110th minute after some great work by Yende, who was also one of his side’s better players on the afternoon.
In the end, AmaTuks deserved to go to the final of the Nedbank Cup, being the better team on the afternoon.