Golden Arrows Eliminate Ajax

Golden Arrows are through to the Telkom Knockout quarter-finals after a 1-0 win against Ajax Cape Town at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Saturday afternoon.  A Gladwin Shitolo goal sealed the victory for Abafana Bes’thende after a positive attacking performance by Serame Letsoaka’s men.  Roger De Sa was confident ahead of the match and would be scratching his head wondering where it all went wrong.

Ajax was welcomed to Durban by a spirit-filled Arrows crowd in what was a scrappy start to the match in Umlazi and both teams were making it difficult for the other to move the ball around.  The home team was looking very positive and was causing the Urban Warriors defence problems down the wings, often getting in behind the visitors’ defence.  Despite their lack of possession, good determination from Riyaad Norodien on the right flank would create a goal-scoring opportunity for De Sa’s side in the 18th minute, however Cecil Lolo’s run into
the box would be ruled offside and the opportunity would go to waste.

Nooradien was making a nuisance of himself on the right wing and in the 31st minute he created another goal-scoring opportunity for the Cape club when his cross deflected into the path of Erwin Isaacs who struck his shot sweetly, but would be denied by Maximilian Mbaevu.  At the other end Andile Fikizola was causing problems for the away team, as he spread the ball out wide and threaded key passes in behind the away team’s defence for Mabhuti Khenyeza and Deon Hotto, but the strikers could not find their way past Anssi Jaakkola who was having an excellent game in goal.

The home team would have gone into the break high on confidence as they were having the better of the
possession as the half came to a close.  The KZN team 
started the second period the brighter of the two teams, as they continued to be a threat on the counter.  Despite being on the back foot early on, the Capetonians almost grabbed the lead in the 50th minute when Ndiviwe Mdabuka’s shot hit the cross bar after a well worked corner from De Sa’s men.

Ajax Cape Town was a much better outfit in the second period and was allowed much more time on the ball by its opponents, but would go behind in the 71st minute when Khenyeza found Shitolo who made no mistake with the
Four minutes later, Ajax’s day would go from bad to worse when Jaakkola was sent off for bringing down Kuda Mahachi outside the box.  The Urban Warriors would continue to see a lot of the ball going into the closing stages of the match, but would fail to find an equaliser.

The match ended 1-0 in favour of Letsoaka’s lot who now advance to the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout.


Golden Arrows

Maximilian Mbaevu, Nkanyiso Mngwengwe, Trevor Mathiane, Thembela Sikhakhane, Koloko Mokhethi, Gladwin Shitolo, Kuda Mahachi, Andile Fikizolo, Mabhuti Khenyeza, Deon Hotto.

Subs: Philani Zikalala, Velile Zitha, Mwape Musonda, Khayalethu Mjoli, Siyabonga Dube, Ryan Chapman,
Sibusiso Sibeko.

Ajax Cape Town

Anssi Jaakola, Abel Mabaso, Abbubaker Monara, Rivaldo Coetzee, Mosa Lebusa, Ndiviwe Mdabuka, Bantu Mzwakali, Travis Graham, Erwin Isaacs, Riyaad Norodien, Cecil Lolo.

Subs: Jody February, Thomas Chideu, Toriq Losper, Grandwald Scott, Ruzaigh Gamieldien, Franklyn Cale,
Milton Ncube.

Phillip Tinyani