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Football | Absa Premiership

Ajax snatch a late draw



Ajax Cape Town and Bloemfontein Celtic played out to an entertaining 2-2 draw in an Absa Premiership match played at Athlone Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The home side took a 1-0 lead into the break courtesy of Mabuthi Khenyeza, but had to watch as the Bloemfontein side came back into the game with Lerato Manzini and Ruzaigh Gamildien, before Wanderson gave the home side a share of the spoils late on.

Ajax had an early chance through Khama Billiat, whose first minute shot from distance was pushed out for a corner by Patrick Tignyemb.

Following that chance, the game became cagey as both sides failed to create any threat in their opponents’ half.

Indeed, both sides were guilty of some poor play as passes went astray regularly, with the two sets of players unable to combine to good effect with each other.

Ajax looked to shake things up with an early change as Paul Rusike was replaced by Abia Nale.

Finally the game came to life in the 44th minute with Ajax scoring the opening goal, thanks to Mabuthi Khenyeza’s flicked header from Billiat’s corner.

Just three minutes after the break and Khenyeza earned his side a penalty when his shot-cum-cross struck Thabo Nthethe’s hand.

Khenyeza stepped up to take the spot kick, but got his angle wrong and sent the ball well wide of the goal.

A few minutes later and Khenyeza was again in the action, but was denied by Tignyemb.

Lennox Bacela then made a quick impression after being introduced as a substitute, stinging the palms of Sean Roberts with a powerful effort.

As the match moved into the final 20 minutes, the game really opened up; with Celtic attacking with energy and speed.

Phunya Sele Sele’s efforts in attack was to pay off in the 75th minute when Kurt Lentjies played the ball up to Ruzaigh Gamildien, who guided the ball into the path of Lerato Manzini, who slid the ball into the net.

Three minutes later and the Free State side were ahead for the first time when Gamildien fired home from 12-yards out after Roberts failed to get any distance on a clearance.

But the visiting side were only ahead for a few minutes, thanks to Wanderson’s fabulous solo effort, which saw the Brazilian drifting past three defenders before finishing clinically to secure an important point.

Ajax Cape Town (1) 2 (Khenyeza 44’, Wanderson 83’)

Bloemfontein Celtic (0) 2 (Manzini 76’, Gamildien 79’)

TEAMS

Ajax: Roberts. Allie, Booth, Hlatshwayo, Mokeke, Billiat, Scott, Losper (Davids 70‘), Dolly (Wanderson 82‘), Rusike (Nale 30‘), Khenyeza

Celtic: Tignyemb, Mahoa, Nthethe, Isaacs (Motlhaping 46‘), Mzava, Lakay, Arwuah (Lentjies 66‘), Mogorosi (Bacela 62‘), Duiker, Manzini, Gamildien

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