Downs see off feisty Ajax to get back on track
Premiership leaders Mamelodi Sundowns ended a two-match losing run with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town at the Cape Town Stadium on Tuesday.
- Ajax Cape Town 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 2
- Lakay puts Ajax ahead on 26 minutes
- Nascimento equalises from the spot
- Vilakazi completes comeback win
The first half was action-packed with Sundowns taking a deserved 2-1 lead into the break, based on the superior and more numerous chances on goal they enjoyed.
The second half was also played at great pace but was a tighter affair with fewer chances as Sundowns shut up shop in the last half-hour to close out the win with ease.
The action started soon after kick-off as Downs missed a good chance at the front post after a Percy Tau cross in the second minute before Hlompho Kekana crashed a shot over the bar from long range a minute later.
Having survived the onslaught, Ajax came back into the game and had a chance in the 12th minute when Fagrie Lakay's shot from the left-hand side of the box forced visiting keeper Denis Onyango into a save.
Lakay then went on to beat Onyango in the 26th minute after he outstripped the Sundowns defence before scoring with a low angled shot.
The Brazilians came storming back looking to level the match and after chances for Oupa Manyisa and Tau, who were both denied by Ajax keeper Jody February, the Tshwane outfit were awarded a penalty after a handball in the box by Isaac Nhlapo.
Ricardo Nascimento slotted the spot-kick home with ease, the game back on level terms seven minutes before half-time.
It got worse for the Urban Warriors as Sibusiso Vilakazi popped up in the box moments later to steer a superb cross from Tau into the back of the net as the Pretoria team took the lead.
Ajax were close to restoring parity a minute after half-time when Onyango denied Tashrique Morris from close range before Lakay fired over the bar from the rebound.
Sundowns, though, could also have scored eight minutes later when Tau's attempted chip went over the bar.
As the game started to drift closer to full-time, the Brazilians were happy to take their foot off the pedal and were able to ensure there were no thoughts of an Ajax comeback as they comfortably kept the Cape side at bay for the closing stages of the match.
While Sundowns extend their lead over Cape Town City at the summit to four points, the Urban Warriors, who had new coach Muhsin Ertugral on the bench for the first time, remain in the relegation zone.