Ajax, Stars play out stalemate

Ajax were still smarting from their Cape derby loss last Saturday, but needed to return to winning ways with the visit of the Free State outfit.

The hosts were the first to get a shot on goal through Orlando Pirates loanee Tercious Malepe after 12 minutes, but it did little to trouble the away side.

They went close again three minutes later, but on this occasion debutant Yannick Zakri was unable to direct Fagrie Lakay’s pass to goal from an acute angle.

Former Pirates defender Rooi Mahamutsa made himself big and stood on the goal-line to avert Zakri’s effort from hitting the back of the net four minutes before the half and hour mark.

Eight minutes before the interval, the latter was at it again, but this time his effort wasn’t of any trouble to Badra Ali Sangare in the Stars goal as it sailed over the bar.

Muhsin Ertugral made the first change of the game, with the introduction of Tashreeq Morris for the ineffective Samuel Julies at the start of the second period.

Morris wasted no time getting stuck in to action, with a shot from range after a loose ball near the edge of the box nine minutes later.

Two minutes later, Lakay and Zakri combined once again, but the end result was still letting them down with the latter firing over the bar from point-blank range.

The frustrations in front of goal continue for Ertugral, while the visitors were content to absorb the pressure and play on the counter-attack.

They threatened 13 minutes to the end through Nhlanhla Vilakazi, whose effort came off the woodwork, with the home desperately out of jail on that occasion.

In the end, both sides settled for a point apiece.