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Football | Absa Premiership

Nhlanhla Zothwane © Gallo Images

Arrows put Ajax to the sword



Lamontville Golden Arrows returned to winning ways in the Absa Premiership when they defeated Ajax Cape Town 2-0 at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Ntlantla Zothwane broke the deadlock in the first half before a late goal from Bonginkosi Ntuli secured maximum points for Abafana Bes’thende.

The hosts were almost punished in the second minute when they lost the ball in their own half, allowing Bradley Grobler to feed Khama Billiat, but he curled his shot wide of the far post.

Eleven minutes later Sibusiso Hadebe found Musa Bilankulu inside the penalty area from the corner spot, but he could only send his tame shot straight at the Ajax goalkeeper Sean Roberts.

The away side came even closer to taking the lead in the 18th minute when Toriq Losper delivered a teasing cross from the right to pick out Grobler, only for his header to be tipped over the crossbar by Pavels Steinbors.

Ajax continued to squander their opportunities and five minutes later Billiat blasted his shot over the bar from just inside the penalty area following some good work from Granwald Scott.

Then in the 32nd minute Grobler did well to connect with an inswinging corner from Billiat, but he got his bearings wrong as his header went wide of the far post.

The Urban Warriors were made to pay for those missed chances three minutes later when Zothwane came flying in after he was left unmarked in the box to nod home a Mzivukile Tom cross, 1-0.

Losper continued to be full of running in the second half and in the 53rd minute he managed to skip past one defender before drilling a low shot from just outside the box, but Steinbors was able to turn the ball wide of the post.

Ajax then made their first substitution on the hour mark with Koen van de Laak replacing Scott and two minutes later the new man was offered space on the left side of the box, but he curled his shot wide of the far post.

A minute later Van de Laak went even closer as he collected the ball on the right before unleashing a low shot, but this time his effort came off the foot of the upright.

Grobler should have done better in the 66th minute when he was released by a great pass from Losper on the left, but he blasted his shot wide of the near post.

Zothwane then had a chance to double the lead in the 72nd minute when Ajax failed to clear a deep freekick from Joseph Musonda, but he volleyed his shot over the crossbar.

A minute later the action was at the other end as substitute Wanderson Costa Viana squared the ball towards Losper but his header was tipped over the bar by Steinbors.

Then in the 78th minute Jabulani Nene went on a mesmerizing run through the middle before playing the ball through for Bongi Ntuli, who could only poke it wide of the post with Roberts approaching.

Five minutes later substitute Dillon Sheppard came close to marking his return from injury with a goal, but his left-footed shot came off the crossbar with the goalkeeper well-beaten.

Jan Pruijn’s side had another chance to grab the equaliser in the 86th minute when Wanderson’s misdirected shot fell kindly for Mosa Lebusa on the left, but he could only rush his volley over the crossbar.

Arrows had one last chance to secure the maximum points in the final minute of regulation time when Sheppard managed to nick the ball ahead of Roberts, but Ntuli arrived late and was unable to nudge the ball into an open net.

However, Ntuli was able to get it right in the fourth minute of added time as he used his strength to turn away from his marker inside the penalty area before firing his shot past Roberts, 2-0.

The results sees Arrows moving up to 11th place with 16 points, while Ajax drop down to 12th place with 15 points.

Lamontville Golden Arrows (1) 2 (Zothwane 35’, Ntuli 90 + 4’)

Ajax Cape Town (0) 0

Teams:

Lamontville Golden Arrows: Steinbors, Tom, Zwane, Krjauklis, Musonda, Bilankulu, Zothwane (Dillon 82’), Hadebe (Mapolisa 70’), Nene, Nkosi (Shange 57’), Ntuli

Ajax Cape Town: Roberts, Lolo (Shabalala 86’), Allie, Jenniker, Lebusa, Graham, Billiat, Losper, Grobler, Scott (vd Laak 60’), Manyama (Wanderson 69’)

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