Late goal sinks Ajax in Bethlehem

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The Urban Warriors have never won a Premiership game against Stars in Bethlehem, and extended their winless away record against Free State Stars to 13 matches.

Coach Roger de Sa would’ve thought that his men had done enough as Ajax held out until stoppage time – with key defenders Rivaldo Coetzee and Mosa Lebusa back from injury – which would’ve seen the Cape side unbeaten in five matches.

Ajax’s in-form striker Prince Nxumalo had a few goal-scoring opportunities, but couldn’t grab his 11th goal this season.

De Sa introduced veteran left winger Franklin Cale in the last half-an-hour to provide some impetus to Ajax’s attack, but it didn’t result in anything on the scoreboard.

But an injury to Stars goalkeeper Daouda Diakite after the hour mark in the second half caused a lengthy delay, which saw Johnny Mathole take over in goal for Ea Lla Koto.

That break in play resulted in an extra eight minutes of stoppage time being added, and it proved decisive in the end as Stars central defender Makhehleni Makhaula broke Ajax’s hearts with a goal in the 96th minute.

Stars now move above Ajax on the log to seventh spot with 28 points, while the Urban Warriors remain on 26 in ninth, level with Orlando Pirates but with an inferior goal difference.

De Sa will have to lift his troops for their third match in seven days as they will take on Angolan side Sagrada Esperança in the second leg of the Caf Confederations Cup at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday. Ajax won the first leg 2-1 in Angola 10 days ago.

ashfak.mohamed@inl.co.za

@IndyCapeSport

Original source: Late goal sinks Ajax in Bethlehem

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