|Bantu Mzwakali © Backpagepix
Free State Stars and Ajax Cape Town played out a 1-1 draw in their Absa Premiership clash at Goble Park on Wednesday evening.
The result of the early kick-off –which saw the Urban Warriors claim the lead through Bantu Mzwakali before Goodman Dlamini equalised for Ea Lla Koto – means both teams are still searching for their first league wins of the 2016/17 season.
After a few early half chances at either end of the field, it was Ajax who took control of the game and claimed the lead midway through the first half.
Prince Nxumalo was brought down just outside the box by Davis Nkausu and the visitors were awarded a free kick. Bantu Mzwakali scored direct from the dead-ball situation, putting the Urban Warriors 1-0 up.
Stars looked for a quick response through attacker Moeketsi Sekola, but his efforts around the half hour mark were either wide of the mark or saved by Ajax ‘keeper Jody February.
The last chance of the first half went the way of Stars’ attack-minded defender Nyiko Mobbie, but the impressive youngster put his header over the crossbar to leave the hosts trailing at the break.
Yet Ajax’s lead lasted just four minutes of the second stanza, with Goodman Dlamini getting the better of February to make it 1-1.
Ajax nearly reclaimed the lead midway through the second half when Mosa Lebusa got on the end of a corner kick, but his header was no trouble for Thela Ngobeni.
Stars will be in action this weekend when they face Kaizer Chiefs in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals, while Ajax will only return to the pitch on November 19 when they face Maritzburg United.
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Dlamini 49’)
Ajax Cape Town (1) 1 (Mzwakali 23’)
Free State Stars: Ngobeni, Mobbie (Mashego 87’), Nkausu, Mbhele, Thlone, Sekotlong, Vilakazi, Masehe, Venter (Ella 90+2’), Dlamini (Thethani 87’), Sekola
Ajax Cape Town: February, Mabaso, Pietersen, Coetzee, Lebusa, Mzwakali (Lupeta 81’), Lartey, Graham (Mayambela 66’), Mdabuka, Morris (Matheza 90’), Nxumalo