Ajax Cape Town lose to Free State Stars
Posted: 24 April 2010 Time: 20:03
Ajax Cape Town’s 2010 Nedbank Cup run came to an end when they lost 4-2 on penalties to Free State Stars at Coetzenburg on Saturday.
The home team had dominated large parts of the 120 minutes, but a 1-1 score-line at the end of the game saw the game go into penalties where fortune favoured the visiting side.
Both teams had good chances in the first half. Although on the balance of play it was Ajax who should perhaps have been up at half time, rather than finding the game level at 1-1.
Stars had an early chance through Kingston Nkhatha, but it was the Urban Warriors who came close in the seventh minute when Sameehg Doutie struck the crossbar with a close range effort.
Ajax keeper Hans Vonk then did well to keep out a goal-bound shot from Nkhatha, but more pressure came from the Cape side and they were ahead in the 23rd minute when Nhlanhla Shabalala rounded off a clever move with a clinical angled shot.
Dipsy Selolwane should have put the Urban Warriors 2-0 up on the half hour mark, but failed to get the right application on his shot with only Stars keeper Kennedy Mweene to beat.
Stars levelled matters in the 42nd minute when Nkhatha headed home at the back post after an excellent cross by Aleni Lebyane.
Ea Lla Koto continued where they left off after the restart, putting the Urban Warriors under pressure with some attack-minded play early in the second half.
Nkhatha in particular was a regular threat to the Ajax rearguard, but some good defending by Clayton Daniels in the 67th minute denied him a possible goal, while on a couple of other occasions the Stars strikers’ finishing left a lot to be desired.
For the first 30 minutes of the second half it was nearly all Stars as they kept the Cape Town side under pressure.
But although the likes of Mpho Makola and Costa Marinho also had chances on goal, visiting Ea Lla Koto were unable to add a second.
It was Ajax who looked the more likely side to grab a winner in the closing stages of regulation time, but some resolute defending by the Stars defence meant the hosts never had any proper opportunities in this period.
Extra time again saw the home team having the better of play, but Selowane struck a powerful effort just wide, while Stanton Lewis and Nathan Paulse tried hard, but in vein to make things happen up front.
Mweene then went on to become the hero of the penalty shoot-out as he saved from both Selowane and Paulse to ensure Ea Lla Koto’s place in the last eight.
Ajax (4-5-1): Vonk; Maluleka, Ivanovs, Daniels, Jenniker (Paulse 46’), Doutie (Diallo 105’), Shabalala, Selolwane, Ngobeni (Sibisi 91’), Serero; Lewis
Stars (4-5-1): Mweene; Taaibos, Nkosi, Costa Marinho, Cloete (Gcaba 91’); Makola, Masehe, Lechesa, Moholo (Lebyane 40’), Madimabe; Nkhatha