City are perched at the summit of the PSL log with 20 points, followed by Wits (19), Golden Arrows (17) and SuperSport United (15). For Ajax, Tuesday night’s win sees them move off the basement on six points, with Free State Stars now anchored to the table on five points.
In Rustenburg, Ajax were 3-0 up inside the opening 30 minutes - with goals from Bantu Mzwakali, Prince Nxumalo and an own goal - and that looked to be just about it. But Platinum scored twice in the second half, and the Capetonians had to hang on to register a much-needed first victory.
At Athlone Stadium, City and Maritzburg produced a watchable, really entertaining game of football. There was energy and purpose from both teams, some neat football and great goals to boot.
The impressive form and resilience Maritzburg have shown in recent games were fully on display right from the opening whistle. Quick in movement, sharp in thought and decisive in closing down opponents, the KwaZulu-Natal team had City under pressure in the opening stages. It was, therefore, no surprise when Maritzburg took the lead in the sixth minute, with Kenyan defender Brian Onyango stabbing in after the City defence had failed to clear their lines from a corner.
But the Cape side eventually settled down after the initial onslaught from the visitors, especially after Austrian Roland Putsche and Given Mashikinya had wrested a measure of control of the midfield. City gradually worked their way back into the game and, by the 20th minute, they were level - and, like Maritzburg’s early effort, it was scrappy goal, with Lehlohonolo Majoro quickest to react during a goalmouth scramble to tap in from inside the five-yard area.
The equaliser proved to be the cue for the game to open up rather considerably. Play swung from end to end and both teams had chances to score - Devon Saal went close for Maritzburg on two occasions, while City’s Sibusiso Masina was prevented from scoring by a spectacular tackle from Deolin Mekoa, surely one of the rising stars of the PSL.
But, with City already showing signs towards the end of the first half that they were getting on top of Maritzburg, they hammered home the advantage just a minute into the second period - and what a goal it turned out to be. There was some sublime inter-passing and movement off the ball, involving Putsche, Majoro, Aubrey Ngoma, Mashikinya and Lebogang Manyama, which created the space for Masina in the box, and the winger made no mistake to give City the lead.
Maritzburg, though, rattled back and levelled at 2-2 with an outstanding goal of their own. From a free-kick just outside the City penalty area, Evans Rusike stepped up and drilled in a thunderous shot that nearly broke the net.
But City kept up the pressure on their opponents and, with 15 minutes to go, they got the winner they wanted. And who else to get the goal to take the club to the top of the PSL but Manyama, who has been the go-to man all season?
The Capetonians were dealt a cruel blow minutes before the final whistle when defender Robyn Johannes was sent off after picking up a second yellow card. He will now miss the team’s next match - the Telkom Knockout semi-final against Free State Stars at Athlone on Saturday.
Original source: Cape Town City tops PSL table