Ajax Cape Town sneak out of relegation zone with win over SuperSport
Two second half goals lifted Ajax Cape Town out of the relegation standings in the Absa Premiership as both Fagrie Lakay and Mario Booysen scored against their former club SuperSport United in a 2-0 victory at the Athlone Stadium on Wednesday.
Lakay put together a man of the match performance to show up his old employers who let him go to Ajax late last year and tucked away the first goal in the 50th minute.
Booysen, who SuperSport released at the end of last season, showed the acumen of a top class striker to snap up a mistake by rival goalkeeper Ronwen Williams to score the second with 12 minutes to go.
It means Ajax moved above Polokwane City into 14th place in the standings, although they have played two matches more than the side directly beneath them.
“We need two more wins and that will be a lifeline for us,” insisted Ajax coach Muhsin Ertugral. “But it is not done and we need to continue with this performance.”
Ajax came storming out the starting blocks with a direct and pacey approach led by the speed of Lakay and Yannick Zakri.
Zakri had a shot in the opening 60 seconds stopped by Williams at his near post and the enterprise of Lakay led Clayton Daniels to deflect a header towards his own goal, kept out only by a reflex stop from Williams, just two minutes later.
The game was not yet 10 minutes old when Toriq Losper beat the offside trap, cut inside and hit his effort, from a tight angle, against the upright.
In the 22nd minute Zakri’s run at the defence forced a save from Williams with the ball spilling out towards Lakay, only for the experienced Morgan Gould to stretch out his leg and deny the ex-SuperSport prodigy a chance to get to the loose ball.
Some 10 minutes later, Zakri should have scored as a patient Ajax build-up led to an accurate cross from skipper Mosa Lebusa.
The Ivorian striker, back from injury, rose in between the SuperSport defence but did not get enough purchase on his header and it skimmed wide off the side of his head.
In between the Ajax chances, SuperSport tried efforts from long range without success, but ironically came closest to being the first to break the ice on the stroke of half-time.
Aubrey Modiba looked offside but was allowed to continue and provide a cross right in front of goal that Grant Kekana had to try and turn onto.
That extra second he needed to steady himself before shorting allowed Lebusa to get his body in the way and effectively clear off the line.
It was five minutes into the second half that the breakthrough came as Losper set up Lakay after SuperSport had turned over possession.
Losper missed a good chance in the 76th minute before Rodrick Kabwe’s cross was spilled by Williams at his near post and Booysen snapped up the opportunity to tap it home with unexpected attacking aplomb.
SuperSport hammered the Ajax upright with a shot from Sipho Mbule in stoppage time but that came far too late.
The game was, as is now customary from all Ajax’s opponents, played under protest because of the presence of Tendai Ndoro, who came on as substitute.
A decision on his eligibility is still awaited.