Ajax CT crush SuperSport
Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town sent SuperSport United crashing out of the MTN8 in a seven-goal quarterfinal thriller at a chilly Cape Town Stadium on Friday with Terror Fanteni and Khama Billiat the chief destroyers.
Both players scored a brace with Ajax’s other goal coming from debutant Sici Shelembe while Thandani Ntshumayelo and Jabu Maluleke netted for the visitors.
Fanteni had the ball in the back of the net in the fourth minute, but it was ruled out for offside.
It then took just nine minutes for the opening goal. A quick ball into space caught the visitors off guard and Fanteni broke down the left channel and cut inside, making room for himself before drilling a low shot past Fernandez at his near post.
Nasief Morris, on debut for SuperSport, then gave the ball away and Fanteni found space before curling a shot over the bar when he should really have made it two-nil.
But Khama Billiat did make it two for Ajax after 23 minutes when he side-footed a shot past Fernandez from inside the area after Clayton Daniels set him up.
The young Zimbabwean took his time and picked the corner of the goal, showing great composure.
Ajax continued to put the visitors under pressure, but this time Morris made two crucial interceptions, much to the relief of coach Gavin Hunt.
But Ajax were not finished. In the 33rd minute Ajax debutant Sici Shelembe made it 3-0 with a powerful shot from the edge of the danger area.
The former Witbank Spurs man picked up a loose ball after some horrible SuperSport defending and took his time before burying his attempt to the left of Fernandez.
On the stroke of halftime Paul Rusike was brought down on the edge of the area by two SuperSport players and somehow referee Robert Sithole waved play on when it looked like a certain foul.
Glen Salmon, introduced after the interval for Dispy Selolwane, gave his team some bite and it paid off when Ntshumayelo stabbed home after 54 minutes to bring Matsatsantsa back into the game.
After 63 minutes, Fanteni brought out the best in Fernandez, who did brilliantly to stop a rocket-like shot.
Then, in the 72nd minute, SuperSport won a free kick on the edge of the area and in a central position. Jabu Maluleke stepped up and expertly curled his shot over the wall and into the top corner. With the scoreboard reading 3-2 the match was suddenly back in the balance.
SuperSport’s new striker Mame Niang missed a glorious chance from close range after 78 minutes, but then Ajax were rewarded a penalty when the nifty Billiat turned Davis Nkausu inside out in the 81st minute.
Nkausu was sent off by referee Sithole much to the dismay of his team-mates. Fanteni stepped up for the spot kick and made no mistake sending Fernandez the wrong way.
Billiat scored the final goal after he and Lebogang Manyama combined excellently to slice through a defence, which by this stage of the match, was full of holes.