Ajax edge Ea Lla Koto for first win

The Urban Warriors prevailed through Stelio Ernesto's 14th minute goal at Cape Town Stadium.

Ajax immediately showed that they were up for the challenge when Cole Alexander crossed a ball into the box just 30 seconds into the game. It initially glanced over Lebogang Manyama’s head, but fell kindly for Nathan Paulse, who failed to direct his effort on target.

Muhsin Ertugral predicted that Free State Stars would play counter-attacking football and Danny Venter showed how well they could do it with his 11th minute effort that drew an unconvincing save from Anssi Jaakkola.

But it was all Ajax in the early stages and they deservedly grabbed the lead when their Mozambican import, 'Telinho', beat Daniel Agyei with a shot at the near post three minutes later.

Free State Stars almost responded with a goal of their own when Thapelo Mkhatshwa’s header forced Jaakkola into making a catching save off the line.

It should have been 2-0 for Ajax just before the half hour mark when Paulse directed a great cross to Manyama at the near post. However, the defender got the better of him and pushed it out for a corner.

Thulani Hlatshwayo cleared the ball off the goal-line just a minute later, while Cecil Lolo saw the goalkeeper off his line and tried an audacious effort from 35-yards out which went just high of the goal.

Steve Komphela introduced Lucky Mokoena at the start of the second 45, but it was still Ajax who were doing all the threatening when they worked a corner.

The visitors then started to regain possession and they did well to peg Ajax back for a good period of time.

Free State Stars then felt aggrieved after a penalty wasn’t awarded to them in the 70th minute which saw Reuben Thebakang fall go to ground after a challenge with Lolo.

But even with all their possession, Stars failed to produce any significant attack on goal as they fell to a second consecutive defeat in the Mother City in back-to-back seasons.