Cale inspires United win over Ajax
Franklin Cale scored a late winner against his old team as SuperSport United defeated Ajax Cape Town 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.
The result, secured by an 89th minute strike from Cale, will come as a relief for Gavin Hunt’s side as the league enters a long recess which will only end in February after the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Cape side, meanwhile, remain in trouble near the foot of the table and will need to turn things around quickly in the New Year.
Matsatsantsa scored their opening goal on the stroke of halftime through Prince Nxumalo, while the Urban Warriors got the equaliser with just under 20 minutes of regulation time remaining through Wanderson.
After a quiet start it was the visitors from Cape Town who had the first shot in anger, as Khama Billiat drove a 20 metre effort wide of the left-hand post in the 10th minute.
On 20 minutes it was SuperSport’s turn to threaten a goal and winger Sameehg Doutie nearly obliged with a shot from just outside the penalty area that had the beating of goalkeeper Sean Roberts but rattled the crossbar.
It seemed as if the match was heading to the interval with nothing other than a caution for Lucas Thwala as an added highlight, but on the stroke of halftime young Matsatsantsa striker Prince Nxumalo marked his league debut with a goal to put his side 1-0 up.
The 22-year-old netted from close range thanks to an assist from veteran Sibusiso Zuma, who provided a low ball from the right of the box.
Ajax made a change just before the hour mark when they sacrificed defender Aidan Jenniker and brought on attacking midfielder Lebogang Manyama. The visitors’ more attacking approach almost brought an equaliser in the 66th minute when Wanderson shot just over the bar.
Yet just seven minutes later Ajax’s 18-year-old Brazilian did find the back of the net to make it 1-1, scoring with a low, left-footed shot from the centre of the penalty area that gave ‘keeper Ronwen Williams no chance.
However, United substitute and former Ajax player Franklin Cale had the last laugh when he scored the winning goal in the 89th minute, firing a left-footed effort into the top corner of the net to hand his side a 2-1 victory.
SuperSport move up to 20 points from their 16 matches, while Ajax have claimed just 15 and are sitting just above the danger zone at the bottom of the standings.
SuperSport United (1) 2 (Nxumalo 45+1’, Cale 89’)
Ajax Cape Town (0) 1 (Wanderson 73’)
SuperSport: Williams, Nkausu, Fransman, Diouf, Thwala, Doutie, Mdluli, Gyimah, Maluleka (Cale 68’), Zuma (Hartog 60’), Nxumalo (Nkoana 74’)
Ajax: Roberts, Allie, Hlatshwayo, Booth, Jenniker (Manyama 58’), Graham, Losper, Scott, Van de Laak, Wanderson, Billiat (Grobler 73’)