Ajax continue their unbeaten run in the league with a mouthwatering 3-1 win over Wits at the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday evening
Bidvest Wits started off with some enterprising football and took the game to Ajax. In the opening stages, the Students played some beautiful football to get into the final third but was unfortunate not to utilize their opportunities to take the early lead.
Ethiopian attacker Getaneh Kebede had an early strike in the opening minute with a snapshot from within the 18-yard area, but his shot did not trouble goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola. Former Ajax defender Thulani Hlatshwayo picked up a cautionary booking in the fourth minute of the match for a reckless foul on Tashreeq Morris.
A minute later Hlatshwayo produced a last minute challenge to deny Nathan Paulse to get off a shot which looked likely to have found the back of the net from the position he was in. Sibusiso Vilakazi had a great chance of his own after he got away from Abbubaker Mobara with a stunning first touch to set himself up, yet his final shot hit the side netting.
Keagan Dolly got the first strike for the home side with a volley from 35-yards out, which however lacked direction. From there the entire game changed after the Cape side absorbed the early pressure by Gavin Hunt’s men. The Mother City outfit had settled in and looked comfortable on the ball as they created a flurry of goalscoring opportunities.
Roger de Sa’s men exploited the Wits left side of defense as Onismor Bhasera was repeatedly caught out of position and Cornelis Kwakman reacted slow to the Ajax counter. A quarter way in, Paulse had his effort from a corner situation saved off the line, whilst Dolly’s superb strike from the right hand side went narrowly over the woodwork.
The home side were in control of the match and dictated the flow of the game. Great chances by Granwald Scott and Thabiso Nkoana were blocked by the Wits defense as Ajax pushed for the opening goal.
In the 38th minute Vilakazi forced the Finnish shot-stopper Jaakkola to make his first save of the match, when he denied Vilakazi’s marvelous 35-yard strike from hitting the roof of the net.
The second period continued to be an open game with chances being created at either end. Minutes in, Morris squandered a golden opportunity when he flashed a free shot over from 6-yards of goal.
In the 56th minute, Hlatshwayo’s headed attempt from a set-piece situation came off the hands of a well-positioned Jaakkola, with no one able to convert the second ball. At the other end, Morris' low driven shot from the edge of the area brushed inches past the near post, and a minute later his headed attempt was kept out with a good reaction save by Jackson Mabokgwane.
Former Platinum Stars attacker Henrico Botes should have undoubtedly given his side the lead when he missed a gifted one-on-one opportunity but put the ball wide of goal. It was in the 75th minute when lanky attacker Paulse deservedly gave his side the lead, when he headed home the ball from a Dolly set-piece.
Gavin Hunt then introduced Sthembiso Ngcobo into the Wits attack who made an immediate impact when he got the equalizer after just two minutes on the pitch. However, the home side took the lead once more when Paulse drove the ball into the back of the net from the penalty spot.
In the 90th minute of the match, young Dolly added the final nail in the coffin when he buried home the third goal for Ajax to earn them a great triumph