Kaizer Chiefs returned to winning ways after a hard fought 1-0 Absa Premiership win against Ajax Cape Town at the FNB Stadium on Wednesday night. It was also the first league start for Itumeleng Khune since the Chiefs number one returned from an ankle injury sustained in October. Amakhosi started well and took the lead after a 15th minute goal from Mandla Masango, who reacted the ball quickest after Ajax keeper Anssi Jaakkola failed to hold on to a Matthew Rusike strike and the midfielder was in the right place to score from the rebound for his sixth league goal the season.
The visitors found it hard to break down the Chiefs defence and resorted to long-range shots, but none threatened Khune’s goal. George Maluleka had a great chance to double the lead on the stroke of half-time after he beat the off-side trap, but Jaakkola reacted well to keep the deficit at one going into half-time. The second half was a far more open affair as both teams went in search of a goal.
Maluleka had the more clear-cut opportunities for Amakhosi but couldn’t produce the finishes needed to score. Substitute Nathan Paulse had the best chance for the Urban Warriors in the 72nd minute, but his header was easily collected by Khune. Ajax pushed on in search of an equaliser but Stuart Baxter’s men held out for the win, which kept them 10 points clear of nearest challengers Bidvest Wits.