The first half began as a rather uneventful affair with both sides struggling to break down the opposition’s defence. The Urban Warriors were forced into an early change when Isaac Nhlapo had to be replaced by Junaid Sait due to an injury.
Nonetheless, Maritzburg’s Evans Rusike eventually gave the home side the lead on the half hour mark as he latched onto a superb cross by Bandile Shandu. Rusike’s pace was a constant headache for the Ajax defenders as he threatened to add to his tally, and could have had his second of his night had it not been for a fantastic save by Brandon Peterson just before the break.
The second half saw Ajax finally find the back of the net, but their goal was denied as Tashreeq Morris was adjudged to have fouled the Maritzburg goalkeeper. But with 66 minutes on the clock, Rusike was once again a thorn in Ajax’s plans as he doubled the Team of Choice’s lead with a calmly taken goal. Ajax did have a chance at the death to grab a consolation goal through Rodrick Kabwe’s long range effort, but the Maritzburg keeper produced a brilliant save to deny the Zambian’s thunderbolt.
Abafana Bes’thende started off the game brightly, but it was Celtic who broke the deadlock in the sixth minute, courtesy of a Roggert Nyundu header from a free kick.
However, the early goal only spurred Arrows on further as they threatened Patrick Tignyemb’s goal on several occasions, and their perseverance eventually paid off. With five minutes to go before the interval, Arrows were awarded a penalty due to a blatant foul on the attacker. Kudakwashe Mahachi stepped up and slotted the resultant penalty past Tignyemb as his goal saw Arrows go into the break level.
The second half was a much more open affair with both sides looking for the winner. Arrows looked the more dangerous of the two sides and arguably had the better of the opportunities, but the Celtic defence held on to earn a valuable point on the road.