The “Team of Choice” had battled away all night long at the Harry Gwala Stadium, but were unable to get through Ajax’s defence, despite some desperate defending from the Urban Warriors, who had Abbubaker Mobara sent off in the 72nd minute for a second bookable offence.
But with five minutes left, Mkhize stepped up and rifled the ball home from just outside the box, with the ball taking a slight deflection off the shoulder of Ajax defender Rivaldo Coetzee, which left debutant goalkeeper Brandon Petersen rooted in the middle of the goal-mouth.
That means that Roger de Sa’s Ajax cannot finish in the top eight any longer, so they won’t be able to defend their MTN8 trophy next season that they won last September.
The victory gave Ernst Middendorp’s team a huge three points, and the KwaZulu-Natal outfit’s night was made when fellow relegation candidates University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos didn’t register victories.
AmaTuks drew 2-2 with Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium, while Jomo Cosmos went down 1-0 to Golden Arrows at the Princess Magogo Stadium.
That means Maritzburg move off the bottom of the log to 15th, with 24 points from 29 games, and will have their fate in their own hands when they face Cosmos in their final league fixture on May 21 in Potchefstroom.
Jomo Sono’s Cosmos have also been dragged back into the relegation fight, and are in 14th on 25 points. The biggest loser on the night was University of Pretoria, who slip down to last on 22.
So, the last round of fixtures on May 21 will see University of Pretoria host Golden Arrows, while Cosmos will welcome Maritzburg to Olen Park in Potch, with all eight matches kicking off at 3pm.
In an action-packed night of Premiership football on Wednesday, with eight games kicking off at 7.30pm, there were some surprising results.
Kaizer Chiefs were held to a 2-2 draw by Free State Stars at Goble Park, with Siphiwe Tshabalala grabbing an equaliser in stoppage time for the Amakhosi, while Orlando Pirates were beaten 2-0 by Chippa United in Port Elizabeth.
There were goals galore in Rustenburg, with Bloemfontein Celtic overcoming third-placed Platinum Stars 3-2.
Champions Mamelodi Sundowns, though, showed their class as Khama Billiat gave them a 1-0 victory over runners-up Wits at Milpark.
In the only game that didn’t produce a goal, SuperSport United drew 0-0 with Mpumalanga Black Aces.
* Maritzburg United 1 (Thamsanqa Mkhize 85’) Ajax Cape Town 0
* Polokwane City 2 (Sipho Jembula 8’ Thobani Mncwango 74’) University of Pretoria 2 (Khethukuthula Zwane 18’ Vuyisile Ntombayithethi 69’)
* Golden Arrows 1 (Musa Bilankulu 45+1’) Jomo Cosmos 0
* SuperSport United 0 Mpumalanga Black Aces 0
* Wits 0 Mamelodi Sundowns 1 (Khama Billiat 26’)
* Free State Stars 2 (Sthembiso Ngcobo 15’ Nyiko Tshabangu 54’) Kaizer Chiefs 2 (Willard Katsande 41’ pen, Siphiwe Tshabalala 90+1’)
* Chippa United 2 (Joseph Molongoane 29’ Buyani Sali 59’) Orlando Pirates 0
* Platinum Stars 2 (Elezar Rodgers 49’ Letladi Madubanya 53’) Bloemfontein Celtic 3 (Lyle Lakay 32’ 61’ Fiston Abdul Razak 74’)
Premiership Bottom Three
14 Jomo Cosmos – Played: 29, Points: 25
15 Maritzburg United – Played: 29, Points: 24
16 University of Pretoria – Played: 29, Points: 22
Original source: Ajax lose, so Maritzburg may stay up