Nelspruit - Mpumalanga
Black Aces were denied three Premiership points by Anssi Jaakkola as he
helped Ajax Cape Town record a 0-0 at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday
Aces will feel that it
was two points dropped as they were the team to create the most chances despite
the fixture being a rather dull encounter.
Both the teams came
into the match with almost identical records, with Aces having conceded just a
few less than the Urban Warriors.
Aces were out to test
whether Ajax would fall victim to complacency following their midweek win over
Kaizer Chiefs, and it was Thabo Qalinge who was the first to test the away
team’s goalkeeper with his overhead kick.
There were shouts for
a penalty by Aces in the 12th minute of the match when the ball
struck the upper arm of Mosa Lebusa inside the box. Luckily for him, the
referee adjudged it to be of no intention.
It was the home side
who was doing most of the pressing and they caused some nervy moments in
defence for Ajax when Ritus Krjuaklis failed to clear a long ball nine minutes
later. It fell kindly to Mabhuti Khenyeza, who struck it on the turn, forcing
Jaakkola to make a diving save.
Just before the half
hour, Legobang Manyama cut back for Keagan Dolly but his shot was blocked by
Abel Mabaso in front of the goal.
At the brink of the
half-time whistle, Ajax were handed another injury concern when Telinho
suffered an injury to his jaw in a collision. No risks were prepared to be
taken and he was replaced by last week’s goal-hero Tasriq Morris.
A second change was
made by Ajax after the break with Cole Alexander coming on in place of the
disappointing Lebogang Manyama.
A defence splitting
pass in the 52nd minute handed Khenyeza the best chance of the game,
but his failure to shoot with his first touch allowed Ajax to close him down.
Clifford Ngobeni was
the next player to test Jaakkola with his snap-shot on the hour, forcing the
Finn to make an impressive save by tipping the ball over the angular of the
Lebusa was living
dangerously when his arm brought down the substitute Dennis Masina in the
six-yard area, and the full-back was fortunate to have nothing given against
him as the game played to a goalless draw.
Mpumalanga Black Aces:
Nhlapo, Mabaso, Nato, Mwanjale, Hendricks, Zwane, Ngobeni, Ngalo, Qalinge
(Mulenga 84’), Okonkwo (Masina 68’),Khenyeza
Ajax Cape Town:
Jaakkola, Lebusa, Isaacs, Krjauklis, Jenniker, Mobara, Telinho (Morris 47’),
Losper, Rodgers, Manyama (Alexander 46’), Dolly (Paulse 63’)