Pirates edge thrilling Ajax clash

The scoreline could have been a lot higher had the two goalkeepers not made so many saves and several attacking players brought their scoring boots.

The home side had their early chances after Nathan Paulse twice went close for the home side inside the opening ten minutes. First he volleyed goalwards, but the ball took a deflection and almost found its way into the back of the net. Then Paulse was denied by a sliding Siyabonga Sangweni tackle.

But on 18 minutes Pirates went ahead after Ntsikilelo Nyauza swung in a deep cross to find Erasmus on the back post and his cross-goal header rested into the back of the net.

Five minutes later and the visitors were further ahead thanks to a calm finish from Lehlohonolo Majoro in a one-on-one situation following a sublime through ball by Thandani Ntshumayelo.

Ajax replied after 27 minutes when Riyaad Norodien skinned Siyabonga Sangweni and put in a near post cross, which sliced off Edwin Gyimah’s boot and onto Toriq Losper’s leg and into the net.

In the dying minutes of the half, Felipe Ovono made a good save to stop a rocket shot from Granwald Scott and Erasmus should have done better from close range when he shot wide from Thabo Rakhale’s cross.

Then on the hour mark a double save by Felipe Ovono denied Mobara in a one on one, but from the rebound Mobara could not get enough power on the header and Ovono saved once more.

A few moments later and Paulse should have done better when he was unmarked but headed a Franklin Cale corner kick wide of goal.

In the 78th minute Losper’s curling effort crashed off the crossbar with Ovono well beaten and inside the final five minutes there was a good chance for substitute Gift Motupa to score Bucs' third goal, but he could not get enough on the attempt from close range.

In the dying moments of the game, Motupa was through in a one on one situation but his close range shot was saved by February.