AmaZulu’s dreadful start to the Absa Premiership season continued on Saturday night when they were beaten 1-0 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium by Ajax Cape Town. Bradley Grobler scored the only goal of the match just before the break.
The home side had the most touches on the ball in the opening minutes with the midfield but it was the visitors who fired the first shot at goal in the sixth minute through Lebogang Manyama, but his shot was well-held by Philani Zikalala.
Three minutes later Usuthu created a chance of their own from a well-constructed move involving Kagiso Senamela and Ayanda Dlamini, but in the end winger Dumisani Zwane sent his shot wide from just inside the penalty area.
The combination between Dlamini and Senamela continued and in the 24th minute the former found the later just outside the box, but he scuffed his shot wide of the upright.
Then in the 33rd minute Dlamini went on a run on the left before cutting in to switch the ball to his right foot, but his curled attempt went wide of the far post.
Then six minutes later the hosts were reduced to ten men when midfielder Rhamson Zhuwawo was shown a straight red card as he was adjudged to have kicked out at Grobler.
Ajax made full use of their numerical advantage in the 43rd minute when Grobler sneaked ahead of his marker at the near post to nudge home a cross which was delivered by Nhlanhla Vilakazi on the right flank.
Roger Palmgren’s had one last chance to level matters on the stroke of half time when Carlington Nyadombo connected with a Mark Van Heerden freekick at the far post, but the big defender headed over the crossbar.
Despite playing with one man less, Usuthu continued to see more ball possession in the second half, but they were guilty of giving the ball away in the final third.
The Urban Warriors on the other hand looked to attack with pace and in the 65th minute Grobler came close to grabbing his brace when he cut into the box from the right flank, but his low shot was blocked by Zikalala.
The AmaZulu goalkeeper was brought into action again nine minute s later as he dived to his right to parry a powerful long range strike from Nhlanhla Shabalala.
Then in the 78th minute Ayanda Dlamini tried to combine with substitute Goodman Dlamini inside the penalty area, but the latter directed his low shot straight at Ajax goalkeeper Sander Westerveld.
Goodman had another chance to level matters eight minutes later when the Ajax defence allowed the ball to bobble inside the penalty area, but he rushed his shot over the crossbar.
The result leaves Usuthu at the bottom of the log with four points, while Ajax’s tally of seven points sees them moving up to 12th place.
Ajax Cape Town (1) 1 (Grobler 43′)
AmaZulu: Zikalala, Mokoro, Van Heerden (Hlela 64′), Nyadombo, Cele Philani, Kgatla, Senamela, Johnson (Dlamini G 76′), Zwane (Mbele 67′), Zhuwawo, Dlamini A
Ajax Cape Town: Westerveld, Hlatshwayo, Booth, Allie, Jenniker, Shabalala (Lolo 90′), Manyama, Van De Laak, Grobler (Van Graan 80′), Vilakazi, Rusike (Billiat 76′)