Makhaula hands Stars win over Ajax

Makhehleni Makhaula's late goal earned Free State Stars a 1-0 victory over Ajax Cape Town in an Absa Premiership clash played at the Goble Park in Bethlehem on Wednesday night.

Ea Lla Koto moved to position seven on the league standings following their win, while the Urban Warriors drop to spot number nine.

The match got off to a lively start with the two sides moving the ball quickly along the surface, with both teams looking to grab an early goal.

Stars captain and midfielder Paulus Masehe tried his luck from range nine minutes into the game and his effort went wide of the target.

The home side were awarded a free-kick six minutes later and midfielder Lucky Mohomi's effort from the set-piece went over the bar.

Two minutes before the half-hour mark, Ajax midfielder Erwin Isaacs fired a shot at Stars’ goal and goalkeeper Daouda Diakite made a comfortable save.

Stars piled pressure onto the Ajax defence towards the half-time break, with Sifiso Mbhele unleashing a shot which was blocked by Aidan Jenniker seven minutes before the interval.

Ajax striker Tashreeq Morris tried to grab an early second-half goal in the 47th minute, but his attempt went wide of the target.

The two teams were struggling to place their shots on target as Nhlanhla Vilakazi fired wide of Ajax keeper Anssi Jaakkola's goal-posts on the hour-mark.

Burkina Faso international shot-stopper Diakite sustained an injury nine minutes later and he was replaced by Johnny Mathole.

With 17 minutes to go, Stars striker Nkosi unleashed a shot which was well-saved by Urban Warriors' towering keeper Jaakkola.

The young forward took another shot in the 82nd minute and once again Finnish goal-minder Jaakkola was equal to the task.

However, Makhaula netted the winning goal in the 90th minute with a left footed finish to hand Stars a 1-0 victory on the night.

FS Stars (0) 1 (Makhaula 90')
Ajax 0

Stars: Diakite (Mathole 69'), Masehe, Vilakazi, Mbhele, Makhaula, Chabalala, Jaftha, Nkosi, Mohomi, Tlhone (Mashego 87'), Venter

Ajax: Jaakkola, Mobara, Coetzee, Jenniker (Mzwakali 92'), Lebusa, Graham, Isaacs, Mdabuka, Nxumalo, Morris (Cale 63'), Norodien (Hartog 82')