Last week, Dikwena parted ways with head coach Allan Freese and handed over the reins to Johnson in a last-ditch attempt to rescue the relegation-threatened club which is presently languishing near the foot end of the PSL league standings. The win will allow Stars to move two rungs up the Premiership ladder.
Stars, who came into the match on the back of successive defeats, braved the Urban Warriors’ early pressure spells which may have been worth two goals. Kabelo Dambe, Stars’ Botswana goalkeeper single-handedly thwarted one good scoring effort during this passage of play.
In the 12th minute Stars attacked strongly down the right flank where Ndumiso Mabena reeled in a goalmouth cross from close to the corner flag. As the ball floated across the goalmouth, the Ajax defence was guilty of ball-watching and that allowed Stars’ Robert Ng’ambi to rise unchallenged and chest the ball home for the first goal of the match (1-0).
Ajax have been in good form of late and they looked threatening as they set about repairing the damage and they struck back in the 27th minute through Erwin Isaacs who unleashed a rasping low drive from the edge of the penalty area which was unsighted by Dambe (1-1).
Grandwald Scott’s clumsy tackle attempt on Mogakolodi Ngele was shown a yellow card in the 4th minute and his team mate Riyaad Norodien suffered the same fate in the 44th minute. Stars’ Letladi Madubanya was yellow-carded a minute later and just before the teams changed ends at one goal apiece.
Referee Robert Smith had again reason to draw the yellow card soon after the restart and this time Mosa Lebusa was was the offender. It was Ajax’s third yellow in the match.
Ajax’s form on the road has been poor this season and they continued in this vein when second-half resumed. They were forced on to mainly defensive roles for some 20 minutes but they held out with desperate defence and one particularly fine save by their Finnish goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola.
Stars’ Thabiso Semenya was booked in the 75th minute for dangerous play in what was the fifth yellow card issued on the night.
The Ajax defence finally succumbed to the pressure six minutes from the end when ‘Man-of-the-Match’ Ng’ambi stalked in between two defenders to meet a well-placed goalmouth cross by Mduduzi Nyanda with a deft header for what proved to be the eventual match decider.
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