Sundowns, Ajax share eight goals
Posted: 6 April 2011 Time: 21:32
Mamelodi Sundowns produced a stunning comeback to draw 4-4 with Ajax Cape Town in their top-of-the-table clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Brazilians were 4-1 down after 58 minutes, but roared back into contention in the title-race to level the scores and keep them within two point of the League leaders. Amazingly, the score was1-0 at halftime.
Ajax's goals came via Terror Fanteni, Brent Carelse (two) and Thulani Serero, while Sundowns scored through Siyanda Xulu, Elias Pelembe, Franklin Cale and Katlego Mphela. Mphela also missed a first-half penalty.
Mphela shot wide with his first real chance on 20 minutes, before Teko Modise blasted wildly over when well-placed on the edge of the box.
The opening goal came from some sloppy Sundowns defending as Carelse's corner was headed into the mix by Thulani Hlatswayo, and Fantani scrambled the ball home from a yard out.
Serero should have made it 2-0 five minutes later when some excellent Ajax build-up play found the Bafana Bafana youngster through on goal. He rounded goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands, but was pushed a little wide and the Sundowns defence were able to clear.
Ajax continued to look the most likely to score next as Carelse forced a save from Sandilands, and then the selfsame Carelse and Lizo Mjempu found acres of space on the left, but could not supply telling crosses.
But against the run of play, Sundowns were handed a chance to draw level when Ajax goalkeeper Hans Vonk gave away a needless penalty with a clear foul on Elias Pelembe, but the 41-year-old Dutch gloveman redeemed himself by saving Mphela's penalty.
Vonk then produced a magnificent save seconds later when he denied Nyasha Mushekwi as Sundowns began to create more chances, but could not capitalise.
Ajax had a penalty of their own two minutes into the second period when Xulu was adjudged to have fouled Fanteni in the box and Carelse stepped up to score against his former employers.
But Sundowns hit back almost immediately and again it was a mistake from Vonk. Mushekwi's header was only parried by the keeper and Xulu scored an easy tap-in on the rebound.
The see-saw battle continued though as a touch of class from Serero gave the Cape side a two-goal advantage. He picked up the ball 40-yards out, but ran at the Sundowns back-four and beat two defenders before side-footing past Sandilands.
And some quick thinking from Ajax gave them a fourth. Billiat won a free-kick and as the Sundowns players were debating the decision, Serero fed Carelse and the former Sundowns man had a clear run on goal, slipping the ball past Sandilands. The goal should not have stood though as Serero played the free-kick while the ball was still moving.
But just minutes later and Sundowns had scored again. A blocked shot found its way to Pelembe at the back post and he beat Vonk to bring The Brazilians back to within two.
And substitute Cale reduced that deficit further with a sublime finish as he cut inside onto his left foot on the edge of the area and blasted the ball home to leave Vonk with no chance.
And the home side were level with 15 minutes to go as Mushekwi brushed past Dereck Decamps on the left and he squared for Mphela to have the simplest of tap-ins.
Serero had an excellent chance to win it for Ajax with five minutes to go, but he side-footed wide when he simply had to hit the target.