Free State Stars are through to the Last 16 of the Nedbank Cup after a 2-1 win over Ajax Cape Town on Saturday at the Athlone Stadium. The home side were without their in-form striker Prince Nxumalo. Ajax had an early sight on goal when Erwin Isaacs whipped in a lovely cross, but Thasrreeq Morris’ header was not powerful enough.
A few minutes later, Morris had another opportunity but his effort was wide. Ayanda Nkosi did all the hard work to beat Rivaldo Coetzee before laying off a great cross and Nhlanhla Vilakazi slotted the ball into the back of the net. However, Roger De Sa’s side had a quick response.
Bantu Mzwakali directed a decent corner before Nyiko Tshabangu had the last touch. In the second half, Stars looked more like the better team, controlling play. The Urban Warriors were not pressing and so a lot of space was created for Ea Lla Koto to keep the possession.
Giovani Solinas’ side finally restored their lead through Jabu Nkosi’s beautiful goal after a clever pass by Danny Venter. Moeketsi Sekola had a one-on-one chance to bury De Sa’s troops but was denied by Anssi Jaakkola. This result sees Stars progress to the Last 16 while last year’s runners-up are dumped out.