Sundowns Extend Lead At The Top
Absa Premiership Report: Ajax Cape Town v Mamelodi Sundowns 09 January 2018
Result: Ajax Cape Town 1-2 Mamelodi Sundowns
Date: 09 January 2018
Venue: Cape Town Stadium
Mamelodi Sundowns moved four points clear at the top of the Absa Premiership after defeating Ajax Cape Town 2-1 at the Cape Town Stadium.
The Brazilians should have opened the scoring as early as the second minute when Themba Zwane whipped in a low shot across the face of goal but Sibusiso Vilakazi failed to connect with the cross.
Fagrie Lakay almost caught the visitors off guard in the 12th minute after going through on goal, but he could not beat Denis Onyango who collected his effort at full stretch.
In the 26th minute, Lakay gave Muhsin Ertugral's troops the lead as he got the better of Onyango with a side-footed shot that found the back of the net, 1-0.
Motjeka Madisha almost equalised four minutes later with a gliding header inside the box that was sneaking for the far post but it missed narrowly wide.
Oupa Manyisa was unlucky to see his curling low shot from outside the area being tipped away from goal by goalkeeper Brandon Petersen after 34 minutes.
However, Pitso Mosimane's men were awarded a penalty seven minutes before halftime after Issac Nhlapo was judged to have handled the ball inside the box. Ricardo Nascimento made no mistake from the spot-kick, 1-1.
A minute later, Vilakazi made it 2-1 to Masandawana with a side-footed shot at the near post following an inviting low cross from Percy Tau.
That proved to be the final chance of the half as Sundowns went into the breaking leading by one goal.
The home side nearly equalised two minutes after the break with Tashreeq Morris being denied by Onyango from close range following an error at the back by the Brazilians.
Tau was unable to extend the lead 10 minutes into the second half as his attempted lob looped over the bar, while Vilakazi was wide open in the box.
Ertugral withdrew Toriq Losper after the hour-mark and introduced Masilake Phohlongo in the creative midfield role.
The Urban Warriors threatened to find the equaliser with 15 minutes left to play pinning back the visitors in their own half.
Mosimane responded by introducing young striker Keletso Makgalwa for his debut, replacing goalscorer Vilakazi.
Nevertheless, the Brazilians controlled the match going forward and held on to claim three points.
Here's how they lined up:
Ajax: 1.Petersen, 25. Kammies, 13. Nhlapo, 30. Booysen, 5. Lebusa, 29. Malepe, 16. Kabwe (Takwara 46') , 10. Losper (Phohlongo 60'), 11. Morris, 42. Julies, 41. Lakay (Thabotha 73').
Sundowns: 14. Onyango, 4. Langerman, 32. Madisha, 16. Nascimento, 27. Morena (S.Zwande 82'), 7. Manyisa, 8. Kekana, 13. Mabunda, 11. Vilakazi (Makgalwa 74'), 18. Zwane, 22. Tau.