Ajax Cape Town was made to pay for their early misses when they fell to a 4-2 defeat against Amazulu at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The Urban Warriors settled into their rhythm from the first whistle and stretched the Amazulu defence as they searched for an early goal.
In the first six minutes of the game, Brent Carelse was unfortunate as his acute angled shot come back into play off the far upright, then Terror Fanteni beat the offside trap only to shoot tamely at the Usuthu keeper.
Ajax continued to press forward but they could take advantage of their possession in the opening stanza of the game. Billiat, Maluleka and Scott were all on target with their strikes but Tapuwa Kapini, in goal for Amazulu thwarted their efforts.
The visitors signalled their intentions when they Ayanda Dlamini broke clear of the Ajax defence, testing Westerveld with a shot on goal but the Ajax keeper did well to save Dlamini’s effort.
Fanteni earned his first yellow card of the game when he mistimed his challenge on the Amazulu keeper who fumbled is save and showed too much of the ball to the Ajax striker.
Amazulu took advantage of a defensive lapse by the Urban Warriors when a short ball from Westerveld to Allie, who was positioned on the edge of the Ajax penalty area, was intercepted by Goodman Dlamini who made no mistake to give Amazulu a 1-0 lead.
Usuthu almost score a second soon after the restart when they lost possession of the ball but Westerveld was alert to make the save.
The goal spurred Ajax into action as they fought back in search of an equaliser, first Carelse skewed his volley, Terror’s shot was blocked by the Amazulu defence then Maluleka’s shot on goal from 25m brushed the crossbar as the first half came to an end.
The second half was packed with action and drama as two red cards punctuated the scoring.
In the first ten minutes of the second half Billiat came close to scoring the equaliser when his cross cum shot curled in at the far post only to land on top of the goal net. Manyama replaced Maluleka and he immediately set about creating space for his strikers.
Ajax suffered a set-back when their Ajax captain, Granwald Scott was red-carded. The home side played the ball out to allow an injured Amazulu player time to be attended, the match official then red carded Scott to the dismay of the Ajax bench.
Despite being a man short Ajax scored the equaliser after Matthew Booth surged forward on the left flank, cut inside and placed his shot past Kapini.
Amazulu hit back seven minutes later when Sangweni scored with 25m free kick, firing his shot past Westerveld at the far post.
A second yellow for Terror Fanteni followed by a red card signalled an end to his game as Ajax was reduced to nine men.
Ajax pressed forward with Booth playing as a target man almost got the desired result but the Amazulu defence cleared the danger with a long ball forward. The counter-attack sent Goodman Dlamini I clear of his marker to score his second of the game and Amazulu’s third.
Nazeer Allie made amends for his early blunder when he scored from close range to pull Ajax back into the game.
The visitors almost added another soon afterwards but Matthew raced back to make a clearance on the goal line however Amazulu did find the back of the net via the boot of Joseph Lekata who scored in extra time to secure a 4-2 win for Amazulu.
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