|Bantu Mzwakali © Backpagepix
Ajax Cape Town recorded their first win of the 2016/17 Absa Premiership as they beat Platinum Stars 3-2 at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Tuesday night.
Early strikes from Bantu Mzwakali and Prince Nxumalo, added to an own goal from Dikwena goalkeeper Steven Hoffman, saw the Urban Warriors to a victory which lifts them off the foot of the table temporarily at least.
The result sees Stars lose at home for a fourth successive league match. Their consolation goals were scored by Vuyo Mere and Benson Shilongo in the second half.
The first half was a catastrophe for Platinum Stars, who committed a string of defensive errors inside the first half hour to find themselves 3-0 down. From there, the match was always going to be beyond rescuing for the hosts.
In the 12th minute Mark Mayambela took advantage of some poor positioning to tee up Bantu Mzwakali to score the first goal and put the Cape side into a deserved lead.
Just three minutes later another defensive error saw Prince Nxumalo score his first goal of the 2016/17 season to make it 2-0 to the Urban Warriors.
Dikwena responded by withdrawing defender Sphamandla Mlilo and replacing him with the more experienced Siboniso Gumede midway through the first half.
However, Stars comedy of errors at the back continued unabated, as an Ajax attack in the 27th minute was rewarded with another goal this time goalkeeper Steven Hoffman got the last touch into his own net to make it 3-0.
The home side came out in the second half with renewed energy, having no doubt been given a blasting by coach Cavin Johnson in the changeroom.
On 64 minutes they pulled a goal back, with veteran defender Vuyo Mere scoring with a left-footed strike to make it 3-1 and give them hope of a comeback in what remained of the match.
That hope was almost extinguished by Ajaxs Thabo Mosadi in the 78th minute, with the midfielder sending a fierce effort beyond the reach of Hoffman only to see the ball rebound off the crossbar.
Stars finally got a second goal deep in injury time through Benson Shilongo, but it did nothing to take the three points away from Ajax.
Platinum Stars (0) 2 (Mere 64, Shilongo 90+4)
Ajax Cape Town (3) 3 (Mzwakali 12, Nxumalo 15, Hoffman og 27)
Platinum Stars: Hoffman, Mere, Mlilo (Gumede 23), Sithole, Zulu, Msomi, Mnguni, Mathe, Mpeta (Senne 46), Shilongo, Kodisang (Botes 63)
Ajax Cape Town: February, Isaacs, Lartey, Pietersen, Saralina (Chipeta 65), Mzwakali (Morris 56), Mdabuka, Graham (Mabaso 71), Mosadi, Mayambela, Nxumalo