An intriguing Cape Town derby ended in the Urban Warriors favour, with their young Brazilian Wanderson scoring the winner
Ajax Cape Town had to hold on for a 3-2 victory over their city rivals on Friday evening, after performing a comeback at the Cape Town Stadium.
The first half saw three goals, with Ajax taking the lead through Khama Billiat in the 17th minute. However, Billiat’s strike was cancelled out seconds later by Welcome Qanto and Larry Cohen put Chippa into the lead with a classy volley in the 32nd minute.
More goals were to come, as Ajax levelled matters with Nusa Lubusa’s first goal for the team early in the second half. Ajax completed their comeback with Wanderson scoring his first goal for the club in the 62nd minute, following a disastrous error by Kassaly Daouda.
Ajax were hit by various injuries and suspensions before the game and had to build a makeshift defensive line-up with Thulani Hlatshwayo moving into central defence in place of Matthew Booth. Cecil Lolo and Wanderson Costa Vianna made their first starts of the season, with Khama Billiat and Lebogang Manyama leading the line of attack due an injury to Bradley Grobler.
Chippa United, who were unbeaten in their last three games, named the same side which has impressed lately as their caretaker coach Farouk Abrahams decided to be consistent in selection.
The derby started slowly but Chippa United almost took an early lead when Andile Mbenyane was released into the box by a good ball, but 38-year-old Sander Westerveld was able to keep the striker’s low shot out with this legs.
Ajax took the initial lead when Khama Bhilliat found the back of the net in the 17 minute. An accurate low cross from the left wing by Lebogang Manyama was well received by the striker who had to shrug off the defensive efforts of Khanyiso Matomane and slam the ball into the net with a pinpoint left-footed strike, which beat Daouda at his near post.
Seconds later the game was back in the balance as Chippa United took advantage of some slack defending by Ajax, when a powerful cross was latched onto by Welcome Qalanto, who merely had to provide a touch to divert the ball into the net.
Chippa found the lead in the 33rd minute, turning their confidence into results with a superb strike from Larry Cohen. Cohen pulled away from the defensive pack during a corner kick for Chippa and timed a sublime volley across the face of goal and into the bottom left corner of the net.
The goal-packed first period ended with Chippa still in control but it seemed as if more goals were to come in the Cape Town derby.
Ajax proved this theory, scoring two minutes into the second half. A short corner was crossed into the box and Thulani Hlatshwayo rose high at the far post to place his header towards goal. Nusa Lebusa made sure of the equaliser by diverting the ball into the open net with his head. It was his first goal for the club.
Wanderson, making his first start for Ajax, displayed his talents with some mesmerising step overs but his first goal for the Urban Warriors was a piece of good fortune for the player.
Chippa’s goalkeeper Daouda tried to dribble his way out of the box, only for Khama Billiat to steal the ball away from him and present Wanderson with an open goal. The Brazilian did not disappoint with a classy chip which found the target and put Ajax into the lead.
The game ended in Ajax’s favour, despite some late chances for Chippa. The result should help to re-ignite their stuttering season and pulls them out of the relegation zone.