Celtic collect maximum points vs Ajax
Bloemfontein Celtic dampened Ajax Cape Town’s spirits at the Free State Stadium by beating Ajax 2-1 in their Absa Premiership match, with goals from Lennox Bacela and Lerato Manzini.
Sean Roberts returned in goal for Ajax Cape Town after his impressive display against Platinum Stars, along with Bradley Grobler, who netted a brace in his last game. For Celtic, Limbikani Mzava and Mduduzi Nyanda made their debut for the club.
Ajax were the first to threaten at goal when Paul Rusike crossed the ball to Koen van de Laak, who headed down to Khama Billiat, only for the Zimbabwean’s low shot to whisk just wide of the post 10 minutes in.
A minute later Bradley Grobler forced Patrick Tignyemb to make a brilliant save from the striker’s angled drive, but it was Ajax who continued to enjoy the better spell of the possession in the first half 25 minutes of the game.
Aiden Jenniker was forced to come off in the 26th minute, after struggling with a knock to his kne and it was Thato Mokeke who replaced him.
It took Celtic half an hour to make their first shot at goal when Ruzaigh Gamildien swung low at goal but Roberts was equal to the task.
The breakthrough finally arrived when a scrambled ball inside the box was pushed out and met Granwald Scott on the volley as he struck an unstoppable hit past Tignyemb on the stroke of half time.
Clinton Larsen opted to make a change at the start of the second half as Nyanda was replaced by Lerato Manzini, before Gamildien took another shot at distance but it dipped beyond the goal.
There was concern over the state of the pitch, due to a rugby match being played the night before, and the concerns proved to be worthy when Sean Roberts ran off his line to gather a ball. He unfortunately slipped inside the box, for the ball to go over and hit the cross bar, but Lennox Bacela was there to head from a yard out to make it 1-1 in the 59th minute.
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Roberts made up for his error, on the 66th minute, when he pulled the ball away from under the cross bar, before Bacela was shown yellow for simulation in the box after slight contact with an Ajax player.
Larsen’s half-time sub proved the right decision when Manzini sliced the ball through Roberts’s legs to make it 2-1 in the 72nd minute.
On the other end of the field, penalty appeals were waved away for Ajax after Billiat went down ten minutes later, wrapping up a disappointing game for the Urban Warriors after an impressive start.
Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 2 (Bacela 59’, Manzini 72’)
Ajax Cape Town (1) 1 (Scott 45’)
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb, Nthethe, Mahoa, Isaacs, Mzava (Leonard 74’), Gamildien, Nyanda (Manzini 46’), Madubanya, Mogorosi, Arwuah (Duiker 65’), Bacela
Ajax Cape Town: Roberts, Lebusa, Jenniker (Mokeke 26’), Booth, Allie, Scott (Shabalala 64’), Billiat, van de Laak, Dolly (Vilakazi 64’), Grobler , Rusike