Just when it looked like AmaZulu had secured a crucial win on the road, Franklin Cale strike a piledriver as Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu finished 1-1 in their Absa Premiership tie at Cape Town Stadium.
Cale’s strike in the final seconds of injury time cancelled out Ayanda Dlamini’s goal in the 85th minute.
AmaZulu came to Cape Town after a 1-1 draw with KZN rivals Maritzburg United while Ajax Cape Town had just lost 4-0 to Orlando Pirates as both sides looked to improve their situations.
The home side also had a few injury problems ahead of the game with Nathan Paulse, Keagan Dolly, Abubbakar Mobara and Dominic Isaacs all unavailable.
But Ajax began well and took the game to Usuthu who started with a 5-4-1 system with ex-Ajax man Nhlanhla Shabalala playing a deep defensive midfield role.
Ajax thought they had found the opener when some clumsy AmaZulu defending saw Ajax awarded a penalty, but Franklin Cale’s kick was saved by Abrey Mathibe.
AmaZulu had a good chance in the 36th minute when Philani Shange got into space down the right wing, but his final pass was not good enough and the opportunity was missed.
But Steve Barker’s side should have taken the lead in the 39th minute when Ndulula missed from close range at the far post when he had got onto the end of a delightful cross after AmaZulu had turned the Ajax defence around once more.
Thirteen minutes into the second half and AmaZulu substitute Tshepo Liphoko began to show his intent when he fired a shot over the bar after a good combination pass with Goodman Dlamini.
But what followed was a strong reply from the home side in the 59th minute. First Aubrey Mathibe tipped a cannon type shot from Franklin Cale over the bar. Then he saved from close range to deny Tashriq Morris a few seconds later.
Then in the 65th minute Cale ran onto a through pass and on the turn he shot at goal with his weaker right foot, only for the ball to drift wide of target.
AmaZulu came close to scoring once again in the 73rd minute when Ayanda Dlamini got into a good position but he took his time and missed the opportunity to punish the Ajax defence.
AmaZulu then found the net through Dlamini in the 8th minute following a goal mouth scramble, but Ajax replied through Cale, who struck a venomous shot past Mathibe after a free kick was played short to him.
Ajax Cape Town (1) (Cale 90’)
AmaZulu (0) 1 (A Dlamini 85’)
Ajax: Petersen – Allie, Coetzee, Lebusa (Jenniker 75’), Ncube – Scott, Graham – Lolo, Mzwakali (Nkoana 84’), Cale – Morris (Mulenga 75’)
AmaZulu: Mathibe – Mwedihanga, Nyadombo, Akoriko, Johannes, Hlanti – A Dlamini (Madondo 89’), Shabalala (Mthiyane 63’), G Dlamini, Shange (Liphoko 53’) – NdululaShare