Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town registered their first victory of the year as they beat Free
State Stars 4-2 at Athlone Stadium on Sunday.
Ajax had to come from behind after Thapelo Mkhatshwa had put the visitors
ahead, and only made the game safe with two late goals from Khama Billiat in
what was a closely contested PSL match on a chilly afternoon.
It was Ajax's first league win since November. They move up to 14th place
with 22 points, just one point above the relegation zone.
The opening 15 minutes belonged to the Cape side as Wanderson, Abia Nale and
Lebogang Manyama ran at the Stars defence and put them under pressure.
Nale sent in a dangerous cross in the fourth minute which just eluded a
couple of team-mates, and was then involved in a move that ended with Lance
Davids hammering a shot over the bar.
But it was Ea Lla Koto who were to score first, somewhat against the run of
play when Mkhatshwa got the ball on the edge of the area and beat Sander
Westerveld at the Dutchman's near post with a powerful drive.
The goal sparked the home side into life and Ajax were soon on top of the
game, pushing and probing for gaps.
And they were back on level terms in the 34th minute when Manyama got just
enough on his back post volley to squeeze the ball past former Santos shot
stopper Thabiso Motsoeneng.
Ajax continued where they left off after the restart and found themselves in
the lead in the 49th minute. Nale received a superb through ball by Davids and
did well to slot the ball past an on-rushing Motsoeng.
Stars however were nearly back on level terms in the 62nd minute when
Moeketsi Mvula fired in a dangerous ball across goal, but Matthew Booth made a
Ea Lla Koto continued to attack Ajax, who began to find their goal under
siege. There was a sense of nervous anticipation around the ground, but somehow
Ajax managed to keep Stars from scoring, before Billiat added their third goal,
against the run of play with five minutes to go.
The two goal advantage only lasted though for five minutes, Sadate
Ouro-Akoriko pulling a goal back for Stars with a wonder strike from 35-yards
But Billiat ensured there was to be no more late drama or heartbreak for the
Urban Warriors when he scored his second goal with seconds remaining, slotting
home from close range after Manyama's shot had been pushed into his path.