Ajax and Chiefs share points
Franklyn Cale (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - There were no goals, but it was still a highly entertaining afternoon down in Cape Town as Ajax and Kaizer Chiefs played out to a 0-0 draw at the Athlone Stadium.
Overall it was a fair result as both teams had their moments in a game which was played at a high tempo with plenty of incidents and absorbing action throughout the 90 minutes.
The game got off to a lively start, with both sides showing their attacking intent.
But while Ajax did well to spread the ball wide to Franklyn Cale and Sameehg Doutie on a regular basis, the final ball into the box lacked the precision to provide any goal scoring chances.
With Abia Nale and Simphiwe Tshabalala buzzing early on, Amakhosi were far more penetrative and had a chance in the very first minute when Zito Ogbanna volleyed over the bar from a tight angle.
With 13 minutes on the clock Kaizer Motaung Junior had the best chance of the opening stages when he got on the end of an Arthur Zwane cross, but failed to muster the strength or accuracy on his first time shot which allowed keeper Andre Petim to make a comfortable save.
The Urban Warriors’ first real opportunity presented itself in the 22nd minute when Sifiso Vilakazi beat the off-side trap, but Chiefs keeper Emile Baron came quickly off his line to block the shot.
Soon afterwards Baron had to be at his best to keep out a stinging shot from Doutie as Ajax began to look more threatening in their opponents’ half.
More was to follow from the Cape side as Selolwane’s pile-driver from range flew inches over the bar and then a great cross from Cale saw Doutie’s poor first touch allow a goal-scoring chance to go a-begging.
The first half ended as it had started: with a bang, as first Chiefs defender Onismor Bhasera miss-fired from right in front of goal and then at the other end of the field Vilkazi’s shot was scrambled off the line after Joseph Masel had burst into the box.
While goal-scoring chances remained few in the second half, the action on the field was absorbing as both sides tried to outmanoeuvre each other tactically – it always felt as if a goal was just around the corner – for either side.
83 minutes on the clock and it should have been 1-0 Chiefs, but with only Petim to beat, Motaung struck the post as he looked to place the ball into the corner of the net.
The most-relived player in the Ajax side was certainly defender Eduardo Ferreira, whose careless mistake had handed Motaung the chance – only a week ago a similar error had ggifted Swallows striker Shaun Haschick the winning goal.
Ajax mounted a late challenge with three successive corners, but the Amakhosi defence held firm as they ensured a point from a highly entertaining game.
Ajax: Petim, Allie, Ferreira, Daniels, Evans, Doutie, Shabalala (Ngobeni 77’), Selolwane, Cale, Masel (Scott 73’), Vilakazi
Chiefs: Baron, Matle, Tsotetsi, Quartey, Bhasera, Nengomasha, Zwane (Bulu 86’), Nale, Tshabalala, Ogbonna (Letsholonyane 58’) Motaung Jnr