10-man Ajax, Stars share the spoils
Posted: 17 March 2017 Time: 19:46
Ajax Cape Town were held to their fifth consecutive draw by Free State Stars in their Absa Premiership clash at the Athlone Stadium on Friday evening.
Mohammed Anas bagged a brace to help Stars take home a point, with Mark Mayambela and Rodrick Kabwe on the scoresheet for the Urban Warriors.
A misplaced pass from Jody February handed Stars the advantage in the 18th minute, when the keeper found Paulus Masehe, who then picked out Mohammed Anas and the striker finished with aplomb from just outside the box.
A well-taken left-footed effort from Mark Mayambela just after the half-hour mark saw Ajax draw level. The winger's shot took an awkward bounce that left Thela Ngobeni clutching at air before the ball hit the back of the net.
Sthembiso Dlamini had a chance to restore his side's lead as he cut into the box, beating his marker before stinging the hands of February, who had to collect at the second attempt.
Ajax with some enterprising play saw Mayambela combine with Rodrick Kabwe, who played in Garnt Margeman before Mayambela then turned the teenager's cross over the bar from eight yards out.
Mayambela was at it again a few minutes later when he did well to skip past his marker close to the half-way line, before he advanced towards the Stars box and unleashed a powerful effort that was well blocked by Ngobeni in the 43rd minute.
Ajax dominence continued and bore fruit on the stroke of half-time as Rodrick Kabwe latched onto Prince Nxumalo's flick-on and showed great composure to beat an advancing Ngobeni in a one-on-one.
There was drama midway through the second stanza as Margeman was sent off in controversial fashion after Kulasande Qonqo showed the Amajita star a second yellow – presumably for time-wasting – as he was being substituted.
With the Ajax players still frustrated, Stars surged forward after the restart and came close to grabbing the equaliser in the 75th minute, when Sthembiso Dlamini struck the outside of the post.
Seconds later the visitors eventually got the break-through after sustained pressue on the home defence, as Anas bagged his second after pouncing on a rebound as February palmed Dlamini's volley into the striker's path.
HOME: Ajax Cape Town
Coach: Stanley Menzo