Polokwane held 1-1 by CTC

Polokwane City’s hopes of moving well clear of the Absa Premiership’s relegation zone were dashed when they were held 1-1 by Cape Town City at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.

Rise and Shine are now just one point above second-from-bottom Ajax Cape Town and will need a strong end to the season to ensure they don’t end up in the playoffs, while the Citizens remain in sixth place on the log.

CTC had the first clear chance of the match, with a free kick from Bradley Ralani picking out Edmilson Dove at the far post, but the defender put his effort just wide of the target in the 15th minute.

This signalled a spell of possession dominance from the Cape side, though Polokwane looked dangerous on the counter attack through the pace and movement of Rodney Ramagalela and Walter Musona.

Just past the half hour mark the Citizens created a great chance to take the lead, with some neat passing teeing up Roland Putsche for a strike on goal, but he was denied by a fine reaction save from Harold Ndlovu.

Ndlovu made another save on 40 minutes to keep out a Craig Martin volley, but on the stroke of halftime – and against the run of play – Rise and Shine claimed a 1-0 lead when Thapelo Tshilo scored with his head after meeting Jabu Maluleke’s free kick.

The visitors came out strongly after the break but they found Ndlovu in fine form as he kept out numerous attempts, including an amazing double save in the 65th minute as Benni McCarthy’s side piled on the pressure.

The Citizens also had a strong appeal for a penalty waved away after substitute Nana Akosah-Bempah went down in the 18-yard area, while at the other end Sage Stephens kept out an effort from Ramagalela as the Limpopo side looked to double their advantage.

Yet the momentum was very much with CTC and they finally equalised in the 77th minute, with Thamsanqa Mkhize driving home a shot from Ayanda Patosi’s free kick to make it 1-1 and set up a thrilling finale.

CTC went for the win in the dying minutes, with Patosi sending a shot direct from a free kick just wide in the 85th minute, while in the 87th Ralani went on a mazy run before drawing yet another save from Polokwane’s outstanding ‘keeper. However, their efforts were in vain, as the match ended all square at 1-1.

Polokwane City 1

Tshilo 45’

Cape Town City 1

Mkhize 77’

Polokwane: Ndlovu, Ravhuhali, Tshilo, Semenya, Mbonani, Seabi, J. Maluleke, Booi, Manaka, Musona (Tlolane 77’), Ramagalela

CTC: Stephens, Mkhize, Fielies, Johannes, Edmilson, Putsche (Patosi 62’), Mngonyama, Martin, Matsi (Moseamedi 78’), Ralani, Juma (Akosah-Bempah 59’)