SuperSport edge Ajax, advance
Sibusiso Khumalo (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - SuperSport United came from a goal down to clinch victory and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout, courtesy of a 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town in Atteridgeville on Saturday.
The Urban Warriors went ahead as early as the third minute, after United strongman Edwin Gyimah put the ball into his own net, but United hit back nine minutes later and then went ahead in the 27th minute.
Ajax wasted little time and took the lead just three minutes in through Lance Davids, who scored somewhat fortunately, after his shot took a nasty deflection off Gyimah's outstretched leg.
Eleazar Rodgers teed-up Davids on the edge of the area, before the midfielder got his shot away, which wrong-footed goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who was heading the other way as the ball trickled over the line from Gyimah's touch.
But the celebrations of the visitors were short-lived, as Matsatsantsa drew level in the 13th minute.
An incisive breakaway put three United players through on goal having breached Ajax's defence.
Khumalo received the ball outside the area, steadied himself and directed a left-footed effort toward the far post, beating goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola as the ball neatly snuck inside the upright.
But United had more to come as David Mathebula sent United ahead in identical fashion to Ajax's opener.
Thuso Phala found Mame Niang inside the area after some good work down the left flank.
Niang played the ball back to Mathebula unselfishly, before the former Moroka Swallows playmaker drove his effort toward goal, only to take a touch off Ajax defender Thulani Hlatshwayo, who sent the ball beyond his keeper.
A far quieter second period followed, with neither side looking like creating any promising chances.
The home side had the best chance of the half 20 minutes from time, after Sameehg Doutie's darting run into the area and along the byline allowed Kurt Lentjies a simple chance in front of goal, but Lentjies put his effort narrowly wide.
Ajax responded shortly after, but former SuperSport defender Franklin Cale's effort was cleared off the line as United held on to their lead to deny Ajax the equaliser.
But United managed to hold on for the win, repeating last year's performance, where the Pretoria outfit knocked Ajax out at the same stage.