A goal apiece from captains Thuso Phala and Travis Graham, saw SupersSport United and Ajax Cape Town share the bronze medal in the Cape Town Cup 3rd/4th play-off, on Sunday afternoon. Phala opened the scoring in the 15th minute but his goal was cancelled out by an injury time equaliser from Graham.
In the opening minutes of the encounter, both teams were feeling each other out as neither side registered a decent chance on goal. But it was SuperSport that opened the scoring in the 15th minute, when Thuso Phala tapped in from a rebound. The SuperSport captain, capitalised on a loose ball after Jeremy Brockie’s initial header, was saved by Ajax goalkeeper Jody February. It was the visitors that looked the better side, as they seemed to have settled after the pounding they received from Crystal Palace, two days prior. However, the young Ajax team were not resting on their laurels and started stringing more passes together. Ajax youngster Justin Jacobus, headed the ball narrowly over the cross bar after Franklyn Cale put in a delightful cross. SuperSport were awarded a free-kick just outside the box in the 37th minute but Brockie’s effort was well saved by February. Ajax were then awarded an indirect free-kick inside the box after Ronwin Williams picked up a back pass. Cale put in an inviting cross but the ball just avoided the head of Jacobus. Ruzaigh Gamildien got onto the end of a Milton Ncube through ball but fired his shot into the side netting. SuperSport put on a much better showing in the first half and went into the break, with a deserved 1-0 lead.
Supersport made a host of changes in the 2nd half, bringing on six substitutes with last season’s NFD top goal scorer, Phumelele Bhengu, getting a run. Ajax started the 2nd half with more intent and spent a lot of time in the SuperSport half. Ajax hit the upright in the 56th minute, when Cale’s free-kick was flicked towards goal. The number of substitutions made by both sides, clearly affected the rhythm of play as the 2nd half lacked goal scoring opportunities. Both sides seemed content with increasing their fitness levels instead of seeking more goals. In the 85th minute, Bhengu had a chance to increase SuperSport’s lead after a defensive slip-up by Ajax but his shot was well-saved by the Ajax goalkeeper. But the game suddenly came to life in the 90th minute, when Ajax captain Graham headed in a Cale free-kick. Both sides had opportunities to snatch the winning goal in injury time but the teams had to settle for the draw. The match ended 1-1 and the sides shared the bronze medal.