A cracking strike by Rodney Ramagalela booked Mamelodi Sundowns a place in the last 16 of this season’s Nedbank Cup at the expense of Ajax Cape Town.
The marksman’s effort on the hour mark helped Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town for the second season in succession. The game took place at the Athlone Stadium in Cape Town on Friday evening.
Nathan Paulse notably failed to make the match day squad while Thulani Hlatshwayo had to settle for a place on the bench.
Meanwhile, Brandon Petersen returned between sticks for the Urban Warriors in place of Anssi Jaakola.
Mamelodi Sundowns boss Pitso Mosimane included Elias Pelembe and Anthony Laffor in the starting XI while Hlompho Kekana had to settle for a place among the substitutes.
Windy conditions welcomed the teams out on the pitch and although it is something ‘Downs aren’t accustomed to they looked the more threatening in the opening half an hour of the encounter.
Laffor was the chief protagonist with his mazey runs causing the Ajax defence all sorts of problems.
Teko Modise went close for the Brazilians on the half-hour mark, his shot was picked up by the wind and forced Brandon Petersen into a good save.
The youngster read the situation, tracked back swiftly before tipping the former Orlando Pirates midfielder’s attempt onto the crossbar and out for a corner-kick.
Petersen produced another top class save in the 36th minute, this time to deny Laffor.
The Liberian winger cut inside the Urban Warriors defence before unleashing an effort at goal, Petersen though got down well to keep out the former SuperSport United attackers dipping effort.
Ajax struggled to string two passes together in the first 45 but showed promising sings in the late stages of the half.
Teko Modise had a great chance to give the visitors the lead on the stroke of halftime but he could only manage to direct his chip over the crossbar from close range after being setup by a death touch by Bongani Zungu.
Ramagalela opened the scoring on the hour mark with a thunderous strike from range. The former Black Leopards marksman played a quick one-two with Khama Billiat before directing an unstoppable shot past a helpless Petersen in goal.
Ajax pushed forward in search of the equaliser, subsequently presenting Sundowns with the opportunity to hit them on the counter.
Dominic Isaacs was sent off in stoppage time for a second bookable offence to make an already difficult task impossible.
Eleazar Rodgers had an opportunity to take the game to extra time with the last play of the game, his header though went narrowly wide of a relatively untested Kennedy Mweene’s right hand post.
Ajax Cape Town 0
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Ramagalela 60’)
Ajax Cape Town: Petersen, Lolo, Allie, Isaacs, Lebusa, Ernesto, Mobara, Scott (Alexander 66’), Losper (Morris 54’), Dolly, Lark (Rodgers 57’)
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; Mashaba, Schut, Moon, Pelembe, Laffor, Nthethe, Zungu, Modise, Billiat (Sumaila 90+2’), Mashego (Ramagalela 7’ [Nyandoro 80’]).-Backpage TXT