Ajax to face Chiefs in MTN8 final

2015-08-30 17:23
Roger De Sa (Supplied)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town will face Kaizer Chiefs in the 2015 MTN8 final following a 1-0 win over Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Sunday. 

The Urban Warriors were second favourites heading into the tie after the reverse fixture in Stellenbosch ended at 1-1, but their task was made easier after Siyabonga Nhlapo saw red for the hosts in the early exchanges of the encounter. 

Nathan Paulse duly converted from 12 yards as Ajax successfully held on to book their place in the final for the first time in six years.  

Favourable conditions welcomed the teams onto the park with the sun beaming down in the city of gold, a complete contrast to the rainy conditions that marred the first leg.

Bidvest Wits were into their stride from the onset and bossed possession as they went in search of the early goal. 

Henrico Botes saw his deflected effort fly wide before Elias Pelembe and Daine Klate linked up well - the Mozambique international saw his first time shot straight at Anssi Jaakkola who was well positioned to gather the ball on 16 minutes. 

Wits though would be the masters of their own downfall with Nhlapo committing a cynical foul on Toriq Losper leaving the referee with little choice, but to brandish the red card. 

Paulse converted confidently from the spot to hand Ajax the lead in the 25th minute

Despite being down to 10-men Wits dominated possession with Joaquim Lupeta firing wide moments after coming off the bench before Klate saw his free-kick well saved by Jaakkola on the cusp of half-time. 

With the Clever Boys pressing up-field in search of the equaliser, things opened up for Ajax who were guilty of missing a catalogue of chances in the second-half. 

Paulse had a string of opportunities to add to his tally towards the end of the match with the lanky forward flashing a succession of header attempts wide before firing over with Moeneeb Josephs stranded in the 78th minute. 

Cecil Lolo's missed penalty after Losper was again fouled inside the area four minutes from time threatened to haunt the visitors, but in the end Roger de Sa's troops held on to deny Bidvest Wits a chance to face the Amakhosi in the top eight final 20 years after beating the Soweto giants in the showpiece.

Read more on:    wits  |  ajax cape town  |  mtn8  |  soccer

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