In a tense and conservative match, few chances were created and the teams looked content to settle for a goalless draw, leaving next week’s second leg in Cape Town as the decisive encounter of the tie.
Neither team was really able to take control in any meaningful way or create genuine scoring chances in the first half.
Ajax had perhaps the best opportunity in the 27th minute when Lebogang Manyama picked out Khama Billiat with a cross, but the Zimbabwean attacker could only help the ball in to the arms of Itumeleng Khune.
Chiefs’ best attack saw overlapping fullback Jimmy Tau hit the outside of the near post with a deflected cross from the by-line on 31 minutes, but Ajax ‘keeper Sean Roberts would have had the effort covered if it had been on target.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, though Chiefs did have one spell where they looked like they were going to break the deadlock and take control of the tie.
The introduction of winger Mandla Masango just past the hour mark was the inspiration behind their improvement, and the 22-year-old had the best chance of game on 72 minutes, springing free down the right before beating Roberts with a shot, but Man of the Match Nazeer Allie clear the effort off the goal line.
Ajax had two great chances in the remainder of the match, with Manyama and Billiat each having a good opportunity in the closing stages, but the former was denied by Khune while the latter drove his effort into the side netting.