PSL Absa Premiership: Ajax Cape Town 2-2 Orlando Pirates
Posted: 9 May 2015 Time: 17:31
Ajax Cape Town ended their season in fifth spot and forced Orlando Pirates to slip down to fourth after a 2-2 draw at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
Roger de Sa's side got off to a good start when Thabiso Nkoana fired them in front on 16 minutes and Riyaad Norodien doubled their advantage moments before half-time.
But the visitors hit back shortly after the restart through a quick-fire brace from Menzi Masuku to take home a share of the spoils in the final round of Premiership action.
Pirates bossed proceedings in the opening 15 minutes as they starved the hosts of possession, but their early dominance only produced two chances.
First Kermit Erasmus missed the target at the near post and then Mpho Makola curled an effort over the crossbar, with Ajax goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola not tested on either occasion.
And Bucs were made to pay just after the quarter-hour mark when the Urban Warriors went in front with their first chance of the contest.
Erwin Isaacs picked out Nkoana inside the area with a lofted cross from the right and the striker volleyed home from six yards out, despite not making clean contact.
Neither team could get the upper hand until just before half-time when chances came at both ends of the pitch.
On 41 minutes Isaacs capitalised on slack defending by the visitors to race through on goal, but he failed to even hit the target from 10 yards out with just opposition keeper Brighton Mhlongo to beat.
Moments later Erasmus was equally guilty of wastefulness when he did well to create space for a shot inside the area, only to fire way over the crossbar.
There was more to follow, however, as the Capetonians doubled their lead in the final minute of the first half, Norodien collecting the ball from 30 yards out and drilling his shot in off the woodwork to give Mhlongo no chance.
The Sea Robbers gave early warning of their intent in the second half when Makola saw his driven effort come back off the woodwork on 48 minutes.
And they halved the deficit just five minutes later courtesy of Masuku, who turned the ball home from close range after Oupa Manyisa had headed a cross down from Erasmus.
Worse was to follow for the Urban Warriors on 58 minutes as Masuku pounced again, with Makola beating the offside trap and setting up team-mate for an easy finish.
The frame of the goal came to Ajax's rescue again on 65 minutes when Erasmus saw his volley at the near post smack against the crossbar, before Mhlongo kept the Buccaneers in the game with nine minutes to go with a superb save to keep out Bantu Mzwakali's powerful header.
The matched finished on a sour note for De Sa after he was sent to the stands for vehemently protesting some of the strong challenges on his players from Bucs.
Ajax finish the season well within the top eight in fifth place on 44 points, six adrift of Pirates in fourth spot.
HOME: Ajax Cape Town
Coach: Roger de Sa
Formation: four two three one
AWAY: Orlando Pirates
Coach: Eric Tinkler
Formation: four four one one