City found their stride quickly and were desperately unlucky not to take an early lead when Dominic Chungwa found space in the penalty area, but his shot was well-saved by Ajax goalkeeper Jody February at the near post. Two more scoring opportunities accrued to Zimbabwean Chungwa, but the first one he stabbed wide and the second, an inviting opening on the cut back, he missed his mark completely.
The home side dominated possession and territory in the opening 45 minutes and gave the Capetonians’ defence a torrid time. Ajax had to be content with scraps on the counter, with Fagrie Lakay’s threatening cross dealt with by City keeper George Chigova and striker Tendai Ndoro firing an attempt high and wide.
City had another great chance five minutes before the break when Walter Musona latched onto a loose ball outside the area, but the midfielder’s powerful drive skimmed the crossbar. There was chance at the other end, too, moments before half-time, when Lakay’s pace and persistence took him clear of the City defence, but when the pass came in, Ndoro blasted his shot off target.
With Ajax in need of some spark in attack, coach Muhsin Ertgral sent out Sam Julies in place of Ndiviwe Mdabuka at the start of the second half. Despite the change, though, there was no change to the complexion of the game, with City owning the ball and pushing forward and Ajax content to make their mark on the counter.
City’s Charles Miya went close with a superb long range strike, but his effort was tipped over by February, and Musona had another chance, but squeezed the shot wide. On the break, however, Lakay’s speed was always dangerous and he should really have scored 20 minutes into the second half, but was foiled by a good save from Chigova.
But City’s pressure eventually paid off in the 69th minute – and what a goal it was. After a neat build-up, the ball fell to Musona again, and this time his cracking shot was far too good for February as it nestled into the back of the net.
But, under Ertugral, this Ajax side is made of sterner stuff. They refused to accept defeat and were rewarded with an equaliser in the 80th minute, with Lakay finishing off after a good attacking move.
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