Ajax 'keeper keeps Tuks at bay
Anssi Jaakkola (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - A man-of-the-match performance from Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola saw the Urban Warriors holding the University of Pretoria to a 0-0 Premiership draw on Saturday night.
Jaakkola was especially busy in the second stanza, keeping the home side off the score-sheet with a string of outstanding saves.
Overall the result would be seen as two points lost by the Tshwane outfit, who were the only side that really looked like scoring on the night.
The first half saw the home side enjoying more of the ball and looking the more threatening unit going forward in attack, although Jaakkola was not kept overly busy
There was a lengthy delay to proceedings just after the opening whistle had blown, following a clash of heads between Godfrey Massa and Thulano Hlatshwayo.
Both players were taken off after a six minute delay to the action, their condition later reported to be stable with the pair both suffering from mild concussion, while Hlatshwayo also had seven stitches to a head wound.
The best chances of the first half for Tuks both fell to Kethukuthula Zwane, who saw a 20th minute header saved by Jaakkola, before doing well eight minutes later to fashion space for a low drive which went just wide of the base of the upright.
The Urban Warriors meanwhile battled to create clear-cut chances up front, unable to cause too many problems to a Tuks side with the tightest defence in the league, Steve Barker's men having only conceded three goals in six matches ahead of this game.
The second half saw AmaTuks continuing to be the more attack-oriented side, and it was Ajax keeper Jaakkola who had to make the first save after the break, palming away Buhle Mkhwanazi's 56rd minute header.
Former SuperSport United marksman Atusaye Nyondo then sent an effort wide for the Tshwane team before Siyabonga Ngubane was denied by a Jaakkola save with 22 minutes to go.
Ngubane continued to create problems and again threatened the Ajax goal in the 75th minute, only to be denied by an outstanding save by Ajax's Finnish shot stopper.
The final 15 minutes failed to yield much excitement or goalmouth action, a dour and scrappy match played in rainy conditions fizzling out to a 0-0 stalemate; a fitting score-line from a forgettable game.