Robert Sankara scored the only goal of the clash in the 18th minute, and the majority of the chances fell to Ajax after that point. To Stars’ credit, they were able to negotiate the waves of attack compiled by Roger De Sa’s side to hold out for what could turn out to be a season defining triumph.
Stars came into the match on 25 points from as many matches for 14th on the log, and the timely win moves the Free State side to within a point of Chippa United one spot ahead on the table with four games remaining in the season.
Ajax, stay in sixth spot with 37 points, also with four games remaining in their season.
The hosts began in fine fashion, taking a 1-0 lead inside the first 20 minutes with Sankara finding the back of the net giving Stars the early advantage.
Ajax attempted to work their way back into the match, and Tashreeq Morris had one of the best chances for the visitors.
With time running out in the first stanza, Themba Tshabalala fouled Morris in a dangerous area, and the referee awarded a free kick. Morris decided to goal for goal himself, but his strike sailed over the crossbar in the 37th minute.
Another free kick fell for Ajax moments later. Following his earlier miss, Morris allowed Erwin Isaacs to take the shot, but he too could not find the target.
After the interval, Ajax kept pressing for the equaliser. Defender Dominic Isaacs had the first legitimate chance from a free kick after the break, but again the goal eluded the men from Cape Town.
On the hour mark, Ajax defender Mosa Lebusa tried his luck but could not keep his attempt on target as the ball missed to the right of goal.
After just over 10 minutes on the field, Ajax substitute Nathan Paulse forced a save from Stars keeper Daouda Diakite in the 72nd minute, as the shots kept coming into the home side’s area.
With the clock winding down, Ajax midfielder Bantu Mzwakali had a dip at goal but his shot was lofted over goal. – ANA
Original source: Stars ease relegation worries