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Ajax triumph in Cape Town thriller

Posted: 5 August 2011 Time: 21:49

Ajax Cape Town got the 2011/12 season off to a thrilling start with a 5-2 drubbing of SuperSport United in the MTN8 quarterfinal on Friday evening.

The match at the Cape Town Stadium was one of two halves as Ajax dominated the first half, before facing some anxious moments late on as the visitors fought their way back, before a late flourish sealed the game for the hosts.

Ajax dominated proceedings in the first half, sending a shell-shocked SuperSport into the break 3-0 down.

The Cape side were onto the offensive from the outset, with SuperSport looking lethargic and lacking in cohesion or rhythm.

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Ajax went 1-0 up after nine minutes when Terror Fanteni fashioned space on the edge of the area before sending a stinging drive past Rowen Fernandez at the near post.

On 24 minutes the Urban Warriors doubled their advantage when Matsatsantsa failed to clear the ball from a corner, which saw Clayton Daniels teeing the ball up for Khama Billiat to curl the ball in to the far post.

10 minutes later Ajax were further ahead when debutant Sici Shelembe cut through the centre of the SuperSport defence before emphatically burying an 18-yarder into the bottom corner.

The game seem all but over at half time, but Gavin Hunt’s charges came out firing after the half time break and were soon back in the game, even if their opening goal came rather luckily.

The goal was scored by Thandani Ntshumayelo, although he didn’t know too much about it as Daniels’ clearance smashed into the midfielder and deflected into the net.

That made it 3-1, and on 70 minutes they were right back in the match when Jabu Maluleke’s free-kick left Sean Roberts rooted to the spot.

At 3-2 up the Cape side began to look decidedly shaky in defence, where Roberts’ lack of authority in the air had a ripple effect.

It looked as if Matsatsantsa may well go on to take the game into extra-time, but instead Ajax were to go 4-2 up in the 85th minute, thanks to a Fanteni penalty following Davies Nkausu’s foul on Billiat.

Nkausu’s night was to end prematurely as he continued to argue his case and was sent off for dissent.

There was still time for another goal, Billiat slotting into an empty net after a lovely counter-attack ended with a clever release on goal by an unselfish Lebo Manyama.

Anthony McLennan

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