Anthony Laffor came off the bench to help Mamelodi Sundowns to a 3-2 win over Ajax Cape Town in an Absa Premiership clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Wednesday evening.
The Urban Warriors fought back twice through Bantu Mzwakali and Nathan Paulse only to see the Liberian international net the winner in stoppage time to ease some pressure on Pitso Mosimane.
Ajax were forced into a very late change to their starting eleven with Prince Nxumalo suffering a reported epileptic attack on the sidelines as the rest of the players awaited kick-off – MTN8 hero Paulse took his place.
The incident threatened to hamper proceedings with the encounter getting off to a slow start.
Sundowns were first into their stride and were unlucky not to take the lead with 13 minutes on the clock.
Poor defending opened things up for Keagan Dolly whose low shot had Anssi Jaakkola beaten, but not Abbubaker Mobara who produced a world-class goalline clearance to deny the former Ajax winger.
The hosts though wouldn’t have to wait too long for the opener with Teko Modise producing the goods once again for the Brazilians in the 21st minute.
Mosimane would’ve been banking on the influential midfielder and he rose to the occasion with a superb free-kick which left Jaakkola flailing.
Ajax grew into the encounter and after Toriq Losper saw his deflected effort fly wide of goal Mzwakali popped up with the equaliser in the 37th minute.
Paulse’s flick on from a long throw-in landed at the midfielders feet, leaving him with an easy finish.
Sundowns though would head into the break in front courtesy of a bizarre Lolo own goal. Katlego Mashego’s cross looked harmless, but with no one close to him the Urban Warriors fullback directed a pin-point header past his own goalkeeper.
With the coaches still finding their seat after the break, Ajax were handed the opportunity to pull level once again following a foul on Franklin Cale inside the area – Paulse duly stepped up to convert from 12 yards for the second game in succession.
Sundowns went within inches to regaining the lead in the 67th minute through an unlikely source. Thabo Nthethe set up fellow centre back Wayne Arendse who controlled before seeing his shot canon off the upright.
The hosts continued to press for the winner and after Cuthbert Malajila was denied on the line by Granwald Scott, Laffor pounced on a loose ball moments later to strike home the winner in the second minute of added time.
The win, Sundowns’ first in three games, helps the capital side into the top eight while Ajax slip to fifth.
Mamelodi Sundowns (2) 3 (Modise 21′, Lolo OG 43′, Laffor 90+2′)
Ajax Cape Town (1) 2 (Mzwakali 37′, Paulse 47′ pen)
Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango; Langerman, Arendse, Nthethe, Mphahlele, Dolly (Castro 72′), Modise, T.Zwane (Laffor 65′), Kekana, Malajila, Mashego (Mashaba 53′)
Ajax Cape Town: Jaakkola; Lolo, Mobara (Ncube 55′), Mabaso, Lebusa, Mdabuka, Mzwakali (E.Isaacs 79′), Scott, Cale, Losper (Graham 84′), Paulse