Toriq Losper’s first half goal and Henrico Botes’ second stanza strike saw Ajax Cape Town and Bidvest Wits play to a 1-1 draw in the first leg semi- final of the MTN 8 at Coetzenburg Stadium on Saturday. Both teams had equal chances at goal but ultimately had to settle for parity. As the match took off, it looked like the Clever Boys were going to have the better of the game and after the win midweek against the Urban Warriors in the league, might have held a psychological edge.
Gavin Hunt’s side had good possession of the ball and owned the pitch at times. However luck evaded them and in the 11th minute it was Roger De Sa’s side taking a surprise lead. Losper made an excellent run off the ball and was spotted by Prince Nxumalo, who made the defence-splitting pass which Losper latched on to and tapped in.
After 24 minutes Nxumalo did well to get pass to Nazir Ali who showed great power when he managed to get an attempt on goal with Onismor Bhasera putting pressure on him, yet, he failed to penetrate. In the second half Ajax came otu looking for a second. Bantu Mzwakali made an early attempt from outside the box but it was never going to test the experienced Moeneeb Josephs.
During the 73rd minute, De Sa’s men went on the counter and Mzwakali ran brilliantly before crossing to Nxumalo who laid it on to Riyaad Norodien, who took a shot at goal but hit the outside of the post. Three minutes later, Vincent Pule made an effort on goal and while Anssi Jaakkola tried to stop him, the ball landed in Botes’ direction, and the Namibian duly equalised.
Mzwakali ran down the flank sending the ball through the box, found Nxumalo who laid it onto Franklin Cale, but the winger shot just wide of goal when he might have pinched it for the home side at the death. The two sides will be facing each other again in a fortnight in Johannesburg in the second leg.