Absa Premiership

Zakri winner gives Ajax hope

2018-04-12 06:44
Yannick Zakri (Gallo)

Cape Town - Ajax Cape Town gave their survival bid a shot in the arm after a 1-0 win over Bidvest Wits on Wednesday took them to within a point of safety. 

Muhsin Ertugral's side were looking to bounce back from successive defeats to Bloemfontein Celtic and AmaZulu, while the Clever Boys had surged up the Premiership table on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run. 

It took just one goal to settle matters at Athlone Stadium, where Yannick Zakri scored in the 26th minute to clinch a narrow but important win for the relegation-threatened Urban Warriors.

Wits invited the hosts to come at them in the opening stages and did well to absorb the early pressure. The closest Ajax came was a shot from Zakri that cleared the crossbar after he went past several players. 

But Jody February had the first save to make at the other end when he expertly kept out Vincent Pule on 20 minutes, while Darren Keet was called into action moments later to deny Rodrick Kabwe. 

Zakri took his next chance, however, as he tucked the ball into the bottom-left corner of the net from inside the area on 26 minutes after being played in by Fagrie Lakay. 

Gavin Hunt's men almost hit back four minutes later, but Thabang Monare fired tamely at February from close range. The Ajax gloveman need to be at his best in the final minute of the half to prevent Lehlohonolo Majoro from equalising was another brilliant stop. 

Tercious Malepe squandered the chance to give the Mother City outfit a two-goal cushion in the opening stages of the second half when he latched onto a pin-point cross and fired wide of the target from a promising position. 

Lakay then tested Keet with a fizzed effort, before former Ajax man Granwald Scott went within inches of restoring parity with a long-range strike that flew just wide. 

Lakay had another opportunity to seal the win from Zakri's pass late on, but he failed to hit the target. It didn't matter in the end as the Urban Warriors held on for three crucial points.

Read more on:    wits  |  ajax cape town  |  soccer

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