12 may 2018
Ajax Cape Town (0) 1 (Lebusa 64’)
Kaizer Chiefs (0) 2 (Parker 51’, Molangoane 86’)
Kaizer Chiefs brought the curtain down on their 2017/18 league campaign by beating Ajax Cape Town 2-1 at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the last Absa Premiership match of the season to secure a final placing of third, thereby qualifying for the 2019 CAF Confederations cup.
All three goals were scored in the second half, with Bernard Parker netting Amakhosi’s opener in the 52nd minute. Mosa Lebusa levelled matters for Ajax 12 minutes later before Joseph Molangoane sealed the three points with four minutes remaining.
Coach Patrick Mabedi made two changes from the team that played against Maritzburg United a fortnight ago.
Brilliant Khuzwayo started the game replacing Captain Itumeleng Khune who is struggling with abdominal pains. The other change saw Siphosakhe Ntiya-Ntiya start his second match of the season following Sibusiso Khumalo’s hamstring injury.
Ajax made their intentions clear from the first whistle as they tried to keep the ball in Chiefs’ half, but the defenders were alert and no major threat in the first 10 minutes of the match. They did however force Khuzwayo to fist what could have been a dangerous ball in the 10th minute from a well taken free kick by Rodrick Kwabe.
Amakhosi had a chance to score through a quick counter attack but Ajax’s keeper Jody February was alert and came out to foil Gustavo Páez was close to latching onto a good ball from Captain Siphiwe Tshabalala.
Chiefs had another chance when Tshabalala curled in a free kick which was headed away by the Ajax defence.
In the 13th minute, Siyanda Zwane was the first player to go into referee Daniel Bennet’s book following a dangerous challenge on Ntiya-Ntiya.
Chiefs enjoyed 60 percent of the possession in the first 15 minutes of the match.
In the 18th minute Ramahlwe Mphahlele delivered a superb cross into Ajax’s area but the ball was too high for the advancing Joseph Molangoane.
In the 21st minute, Ajax’s Fargie Lakay delivered a good corner kick to the near post which left the Chiefs defence confused – the ball bobbed around after hitting the post before Daniel Cardoso kicked it away.
In the 30th minute Yagan Sasman went past Willard Katsande on the left to deliver a good ball but Khuzwayo managed to intercept it before Yannick Zakri could head it home.
In the 35th minute Zakri produced a superb one-handed save form Khuzwayo and Grant Margeman threatened his goal again four minutes later when his cheeky effort flew slightly over the bar.
A minute later, Tshabalala also whipped in a good ball which was dealt with by the Ajax defence.
Shortly afterwards, the Glamour Boys went close to taking the lead when Páez played a good ball to Parker, whose brilliant shot was excellently saved by February and cleared by Mosa Lebusa.
Nitya-Ntiya became the second player to receive a yellow card after colliding with Zwane at the stroke of halftime.
The teams headed into the halftime break at 0-0.
Ajax started the second half with two changes to the playing personnel – Tashreeq Morris and Toriq Losper came on for Zakri and Sasman.
In the 50th minute George Maluleka found Molangoane in a good position but Mario Booysen was equal to the task as he managed to prevent Molangoane from scoring, at the cost of a corner kick.
It proved expensive. The corner was well taken by Maluleka and striker Bernard Parker tucked the ball away from close range to put Chiefs ahead in the 51st minute.
In the 55th minute, Coach Mabedi made his first sub by bringing Philani Zulu in for the young Ntiya-Ntiya.
Siyabonga Ngezana was booked for a late tackle on Margeman in the 59th minute resulting in a free kick for Ajax in a dangerous area. However, Kabwe’s shot went way wide.
In the 61st minute, Losper gave a great ball to Morris who had an opportunity to equalise for Ajax but once again Khuzwayo lived up to his name, brilliantly stopping the ball.
In the 63rd minute, Ajax were awarded a corner when Ngezana defused a Morris attack. Kabwe took the corner kick and captain, Musa Lebusa headed home to equalise for the home side.
Mabedi made Chiefs’ second change when he introduced Dumsani Zuma for Páez.
In the 66th minute February made another game changing save when he stopped Tshabalala’s shot.
A minute later Maluleka was booked by the referee for a foul.
In the 68th minute Tshabalala went on a surging run and passed to Parker who miscued the ball.
Ajax coach, Muhsin Ertugral made his final change by bring Thabo Mosadi on for Siyanda Zwane in the 70th minute.
Zuma forced another fine save from February from a tight angle in the 72nd minute.
Ajax came agonisingly close to scoring twice in the 73rd minute. First it was Booysen who was stopped by Mphahlele and seconds later Roscoe Pietersen’s header was kept out by Khuzwayo.
Throughout the match both goalkeepers made telling contributions, helping to keep the scoreline respectable.
In the 78th minute, Zuma had a nice curler which slightly went over the top.
A minute later, February produced yet another good save when he stopped Tshabalala’s shot.
The game was exciting as both Booysen and Lebusa had moved upfield as Ajax searched for a winner leaving some gaps at the back for Ajax.
Chiefs used the opportunity to attack the spaces through Zuma, Tshabalala, Parker and Molangoane.
In the 86th minute, Molangoane was eventually rewarded for his persistence when he received a ball from Parker and restored Chiefs leader.
As Chiefs tried to consolidate, Coach Mabedi brought Mulomowandau Mathoho on for Parker in the 87th minute.
Two minutes later Zuma was clearly brought down in the area by February, however, to many people’s surprise, the referee cautioned Zuma for diving.
In stoppage time, Chiefs had another chance to put the final nail in Ajax’s coffin but Maluleka shot wide.
The final action saw Morne Nel get booked for a tackle on Molangoane.
It finished as an absolutely well-deserved win from the Phefeni Glamour Boys and tears for their opponents who head into the relegation playoffs.
Key moment in the match:
Molangoane scoring the winner to cement Chiefs’ third position and earning the Glamour Boys a spot in the 2019 CAF Confederations Cup.
Most Valuable Player (MVP):
Amakhosi players delivered a splendid performance as a team. Siphiwe Tshabalala worked very hard in the ensuring the team played and attacked from all angles. Willard Katsande and George Maluleka kept it together in the middle of the park and the defenders, led by Brilliant Khuzwayo had a great game as they defused Ajax’s ferocious attack.
It was however Joseph ‘Tight’ Molangoane who walked away with the Absa Premiershiip Man of the Match accolade.
What it means:
Kaizer Chiefs consolidate their third position on the Absa Premiership log and finish the season with 48 points from 30 matches. A third position means qualification for the CAF Confederations Cup in 2019.
Kaizer Chiefs 11: Khuzwayo, Mphahlele, Ngezana, Cardoso, Ntiya-Ntiya (Zulu 55’); Molangoane, Katsande, Maluleka, Tshabalala ©, Parker (Mathoho 87’), Páez (Zuma 65’)
Subs not used: Bvuma, Jayiya, Ntshangase, Moon
Ajax Cape Town 11: February, Zwane (Mosadi 70’), Pietersen, Booysen, Lebusa ©️, Sasman (Losper 45’), Nel, Kabwe, Margeman, Lakay, Zakri (Morris 45’)
Subs not used: Petersen, Malepe, Nhlapo, Julies
Kaizer Chiefs will go into the off season break and will resume their official programme in August 2018.