The Urban Warriors play to a 2-2 draw with bottom of the table Golden Arrows at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday evening
The match got off to a slow start as both sides were deciphering out their opposition, stroking the ball around at the back to retain possession and looked to settle in. Ajax sensation Keagan Dolly showed early glimpses of lethal intent, as he made some good runs at the Golden Arrows defense.
Dolly also fired the first shot at goal for the Urban Warriors in the eighth minute from outside the 18 yard area, only to see his first strike go wide of the goal.
Abafana Bes'thende who were extremely quite in attack during the opening stages, took the lead in the 13th minute from the penalty spot. Captain Thanduyise Khuboni stepped up to slot the ball home, after Deon Hotto was fouled inside the box from a mistimed challenge by Toriq Losper.
Losper almost made up for his mistake two minutes later with a snapshot from a loose ball, but goalkeeper Arthur Bartman reacted quick enough to get low and make the save. At the other end, Christopher Katongo dissected through the Ajax midfield with a dazzling run, before unleashing a 25 yard strike which whistled past the woodwork.
For the most part of the opening half hour, Arrows went route one with the long ball aimed at their attackers, though this strategy did not seem to work for them. Ajax however displayed some beautiful carpet football, as they put a string of passes together while moving into the attacking third. Granwald Scott showed his experience as he commanded the midfield, with all the play coming through him as they built up in their play.
In the 31st minute Dolly made a nice run down the right flank before whipping in a fantastic long ball across the face of the goal with Bantu Mzwakali on the receiving end. Mzwakali hit it first time with a volley from close range but missed the target by inches. Two minutes later Arrows should have made it 2-0 when Katongo received a long ball, while he timely beat the offside trap. In a one-on-one situation with Anssi Jaakkola, the Ajax shot stopper kept his side in the game.
Before the stroke of half time the home side leveled matters through Eleazar Rodgers. The Ajax attacker was on the receiving end of a stunning pin point long ball from Dolly, and he headed the ball into the back of the net.
The Cape outfit came out blazing in the second period, and lifted the tempo of the game. The Urban Warriors created an abundance of opportunities, but could not find the finishing touch.
Ajax attacker Losper had a gifted opportunity in the 48th minute from inside the danger area, with space and a clear view of goal, but he could not put it past Bartman who made the save. Five minutes later it was Losper once more, but his attempt took a deflection and went out for a corner.
In the 70th minute the visitors had a rare opportunity after the two Ajax central defenders collided inside the area. Vuyisile Ntombaythethi was unable to get the better of Jaakkola despite having tons of space and time to pick his spot.
Arrows who were being outplayed, almost sealed a late winner when super-sub Festus Mbewe headed the ball into the back of the net with three minutes remaining. However, Rodgers leveled matters once more as he headed the ball home during injury time, from a cross by Nazeer Allie.