Rivaldo Coetzee scores his first professional goal as Ajax held by Arrows
Wantaway defender Rivaldo Coetzee scored his first professional goal as Ajax Cape Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Lamontville Golden Arrows in their Absa Premiership clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night. Coetzee, who is being tracked by Scottish Premier League side Glasgow Celtic, netted in the second half and then left the field with a hamstring injury, which will be a worry for national team coach Stuart Baxter ahead of the FIFA World Cup qualifier double-header against Cape Verde in two weeks' time. Lerato Lamola had given the visitors the lead with a bizarre goal, while both teams then spurned excellent chances to get their league campaigns off to a winning start.
Ajax were dealt a blow before kick-off when Prince Nxumalo was forced to withdraw late on after feeling unwell to be replaced by debutant Sedwyn George, last season’s leading scorer in the National First Division. Golden Arrows’ major changes from the side that lost their MTN8 quarterfinal to BidVest Wits last weekend were on their bench, with head coach Clinton Larsen and his assistant Mandla Ncikazi both forced into the stands after being red-carded in that encounter. It meant their former striker Vusumuzi Vilakazi, now coach of the MultiChoice Diski Challenge side, led from the dugout. Golden Arrows’ game-plan in the first half was predictable and effective as they soaked up pressure from the home side, before hitting them on the break with pace.
And the visitors took the lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances on 24 minutes. Ajax goalkeeper Brandon Petersen saw his attempted pass out of defence hit Lamola and rebound 30 yards to trickle into the back of the net. Arrows might have added to that advantage when first Wayde Jooste headed over when well placed at the back post, before Kuda Mahachi turned his defender and drilled the ball low past the outside of the post. Ajax finished the half stronger as Kabwe forced a good save from Gumede and George put his effort well wide from 12 yards. And the home side did find an equaliser three minutes into the second half when Kabwe’s corner was headed home by Coetzee as the visiting defence stood static. Mahachi should have put Arrows back in front but he blasted the ball over after Petersen had parried a cross into his path, but the game fizzled out as the pace slowed in the final 20 minutes.