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Bidvest Stadium
02/03/2011 16:00

Ajax’s title hopes dented

Posted: 2 March 2011 Time: 17:57

Ajax Cape Town’s hopes of winning a first Absa Premiership title were dealt a blow on Wednesday afternoon as they were beaten 2-0 by Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg.

The Urban Warriors had the chance to move to the top of the log (temporarily at least) if they had avoided defeat against the Clever Boys, but goals from Sifiso Vilakazi and Sifiso Myeni handed the home team, who ended the game with ten men, a deserved victory.

The teams exchanged early chances, with Ajax forward Thulani Serero testing Darren Keet with a seventh minute shot before Wits’ Stanton Fredericks sent a drive inches over the crossbar from just inside the penalty area.

On 27 minutes Keet was called into action again, this time keeping out a shot from Granwald Scott after the midfielder had latched onto a poor clearance from Patrick Phungwayo. Khama Billiat threatened a goal just before the 40 minute mark with a shot that just cleared the crossbar, as Ajax continued to look the likelier scorers.

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However, it was Wits who took the lead in the 41st minute, with Sifiso Vilakazi scoring a scorcher of a long range goal. His 30-yard shot found the top right corner of the net and beat veteran goalkeeper Hans Vonk all ends up.

The Urban Warriors were unlucky not to level the score in injury time at the end of the first half, with Serero hitting the post with a shot from the edge of the Wits penalty area.

Ajax coach Foppe de Haan opted to change personnel at the start of the second half, withdrawing Seydouba Soumah and Tafadzwa Rusike to be replaced by Nazeer Allie and Thembinkosi Fanteni respectively.

Four minutes into the second half, the Clever Boys were reduced to ten men when Derrick Spencer was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Lebogang Manyama.

It was the second successive game in which the Johannesburg team had a man dismissed, as Thando Mngomeni suffered the same fate in their 3-0 defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns on the weekend.

With the numerical advantage, the Cape side took control of the game and began the search for an equalising goal.

Just past the hour mark, ‘Terror’ Fanteni became the second Ajax man to hit the woodwork when he rattled Keet’s crossbar with a snap effort from within the penalty area. Within the next ten minutes Keet was twice called upon to make fine saves to deny Khama Billiat and Serero as Ajax began to turn the screw on Roger de Sa’s youthful side.

However, against the run of play, the ten-man home team doubled their advantage in the 76th minute, as Sifiso Myeni latched onto a good pass from substitute Ryan Chapman and scored with a low shot.

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