Maritzburg held by Ajax

2013-05-11 18:19
Khama Billiat (Gallo Images)
Pietermaritburg - Maritzburg United failed to climb up to the top eight of the Absa Premiership standings when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Ajax Cape Town at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Mabhuti Khenyeza scored the equaliser for the Urban Warriors midway through the second half after United had broken the deadlock through Orlando Smeekes in the first half.
Smeekes had the first chance of the match in the eight minute when he connected with a cross from Ruben Cloete, only to send his header over the crossbar.
However, he made no mistake in the 29th minute as he lofted the ball over Sander Westerveld from inside the box after he was set up by a good pass from Cuthbert Malajila.
Shu-aib Walters then made two comfortable saves after the half hour mark, holding on to a shot from Khenyeza in the 31st minute, before saving another effort from Thato Mokeke a minute later.
The Maritzburg United goalkeeper then pulled of a great save on the stroke of half time to turn Khama Billiat’s stinging shot around the post to protect the 1-0 lead going into the break.
Smeekes could have grabbed his brace three minutes after the restart following an error from Matthew Booth, but this time he fired his shot straight at Westerveld, before Malajila headed wide in the 54th minute.
The Urban Warriors leveled matters in the 65th minute when Lebogang Manyama unleashed a powerful shot which Walters could only parry into the path of Khenyeza, who was then able to tap the ball home.
The visitors eventually found the equaliser in the 65th minute when Khenyeza finished with a simple tap-in after Walters was unable to hold on to a shot from Lebogang Manyama.
Terrance Mandaza came close to stealing maximum points for his side in the 77th minute but the Zimbabwean striker fired wide of the target following a surging run through the Ajax defence.
The result sees United moving up to 10th place with 36 points, while Ajax remain in 14th place with 28 points.
Maritzburg United (1) 1 (Smeekes 29’)
Ajax Cape Town (0) 1 (Khenyeza 65’)
Maritzburg United: Walters, Cloete, Awal, Booysen M, Evans, Morton, Buckley, Smeekes (Isaacks 69’), Sheppard, Mandaza and Malajila
Ajax Cape Town: Westerveld, Lolo, Booth, Jenniker, Davids, Billiat, Losper (Dolly 88’), Manyama, Khenyeza, Wanderson (Rusike 57’) (Shabalala 69’), Mokeke


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