Despite playing with a patched up defence and finding themselves on the back foot for large portions of the game, Ajax struck found a clinical touch in front of goal on two crucial occasions as Stanton Lewis and Nathan Paulse ensured the win for the Foppe de Haan’s charges.
It was a case of two chances, two goals for the Urban Warriors as they made full use of the few opportunities that came their way.
The first half was a rather cagey, stop-start affair, with fouls the norm and not too much in the way of enterprising or free-flowing football.
AmaZulu had slightly the better of overall play, yet found themselves 1-0 down at the break after Stanton Lewis netted in a rare Ajax attack.
The Durban side had the first chance of the game in the seventh minute when Ayanda Dlamini played an inviting cross towards the far post, but Dumisani Ngwenya found neither placement nor power with his header.
The game remained tight until a moment of inspiration from Dispy Selowane in the 33rd minute saw him threading a 35-yard ball through for Lewis, who showed good strength and composure to curl the ball past Mbongeni Mzimela.
AmaZulu had chances from range before the break, but Tsweu Mokoro, Thami Sangweni and Marc van Heerden could not beat Hans Vonk.
Neil Tovey’s side again dictated play after the restart, controlling the game although not being able to really test Vonk as his makeshift centre back pairing of Nhlanhla Shabalala and Nazier Allie defended valiantly.
It just didn’t appear to be the KZN side’s night as despite offering very little up front, the Cape Town side doubled their advantage after 75 minutes when Paulse out-muscled Mzimela to bundle home a header after some poor defending in general from the AmaZulu defence.
There was nearly a third goal from Ajax eight minutes from time when Diyo Sibisi went marginally wide with an attempted chip after Mzimela found himself in no-man’s land.
As AmaZulu tried desperately to fight back, gaps opened up in their defence and the Urban Warriors could well have had another goal but Clifford Ngobeni shot off target with Mzimela nowhere near the goal.
Sibisi failed to inflict what would have been a cruel third goal against Usuthu as he missed a real sitter in injury time as the KZN side’s defence was left wide open.
Ajax though wouldn’t have minded too much though when the final whistle sounded shortly afterwards to signal their advancement to the final, where they will play either Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs.
Should they face Pirates, it would be a repeat of last year’s final, which the Urban Warriors won 2-1.