Sporting Sinks Ajax On Penalties

Sporting Lisbon advanced to the final of the Cape Town Cup after beating hosts Ajax Cape Town 4-2 on penalties at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday.  It was the visitors who opened the scoring with their first attempt on target in the 19th minute after Carlos Mane made a great run into the box to stab in Jefferson Mascimento’s cross to give Sporting the lead.  Bantu Mzwakali had an excellent chance to level matters after Granwald Scott’s pass had him in one-on-one with the keeper but Rui Patricio reacted well to flick his effort wide.

Islam Slimani was proving to be a handful for the Ajax defence in the other half of the pitch, and the Algerian striker almost doubled the visitors’ lead on the half-hour mark but his close-range header sailed over the bar.  Slimani threatened again for the visitors five minutes later however Anssi Jaakkola reacted well to save with his feet after the Lions had carved their way through the Ajax defence.  Prince Nxumalo and Riyaad Norodien came close to grabbing the equaliser for the Urban Warriors but Patricio produced good saves as he kept their strikes out to retain Sporting’s one goal advantage at the break.

Roger De Sa’s men began the second half on the front foot and nearly got on the score sheet after Mzwakali got past the Sporting defence but the Ajax man blazed his shot high over the bar.  The home team were handed a lifeline in the 67th minute after Naldo was penalised for handling the ball in the box.  Cecil Lolo stepped up slotted it in the top corner to level the score.

Franklin Cale put the hosts in front with a cool finish in the 80th minute before Ruben Semedo headed in the equaliser for the visitors from a corner minutes later as the match finished 2-2 and would be decided on penalties.  Jorge Jesus’ men converted all four of their spot-kicks, while Patricio saved Cale and Abbubaker Mobara’s poor penalties to book Sporting Lisbon a place in Sunday’s final against Crystal Palace.