The Premier Soccer League (PSL) resumed on Friday evening with two mouth-watering encounters on offer.
All eyes fell on both the Cape Town Stadium and Bidvest Stadium as the PSL’s bottom placed clubs were in action and looked to plot their way out of the relegation zone. In the first of two encounters, Ajax Cape Town locked horns with a rejuvenated Maritzburg United. Under new coach Muhsin Ertugral at the helm, who was unable to sit on the bench alongside marquee signing Tendai Ndoro as they were still awaiting their respective work permits, there was an air of optimism surrounding the Urban Warriors.
Ajax’s new-found intent showed early on as they broke the deadlock early on. Debutant Fagrie Lakay showed his quality as he picked out Tashreeq Morris in the box and the 23-year-old made no mistake with his header from close range.
Maritzburg though, went on the offensive and they could consider themselves as being aggrieved as they were denied several legitimate penalty shouts as they headed into the break behind. But with the resumption of the second half, the Team of Choice clearly had a point to prove as Deolin Mekoa found the equaliser with a neat finish almost immediately from the restart. The goal saw the away side grow in confidence even more and with just over 20 minutes left in the game, Maritzburg completed the turnaround. Siyanda Xulu compiled Ajax’s woes even further as he found the back of the net with a bullet of a header from a corner, giving Maritzburg a valuable win on the road.
Meanwhile, in Johannesburg Bidvest Wits were once again on the losing end as they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Free State Stars. The defeat saw Wits remain rooted to the bottom of the PSL table and would surely send alarm bells ringing.
Gavin Hunt set out his team with a positive outlook as debutants Lehlohonolo Majoro and Edwin Gyimah were given their first starts since making their move to Braamfontein. The duo looked lively particularly Majoro who could have opened the scoring as early as the sixth minute. But the 31-year-old failed to direct Sifiso Myeni’s cross on target.
However, despite Wits’ dominance they would again pay for a lapse in concentration as Stars broke the deadlock. Luc Eymael’s men put on a brave performance and showed why they have turned into somewhat of a bogey side for Wits of late as Thamsanqa Teyise’s volley found the back of the net just after the half hour mark.
Although, Wits put up a fight in the second half and looked dangerous with Majoro looking sharp and Amr Gamal coming on in the second half to add a physical presence upfront, Ea Lla Koto were able to fend off the endless Wits pressure as they held on for the three points. The win saw Stars move into unusual territory as they rose to second on the league table.