Paulse earns Ajax draw against Chiefs

Nathan Paulse scored for the third time in seven days as Ajax Cape Town came from behind to hold Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-1 draw in the Absa Premiership at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday evening.

Edward Manqele opened the scoring five minutes after the hour, before Paulse hit back soon after.

The result moves Chiefs up to fourth, Ajax remain sixth.

Chiefs showed great intent from the onset with Steve Komphela’s men looking a different outfit to the team that lost in Port Elizabeth in the MTN8 final a week ago.

The former Free State Stars boss named two former Ea Lla Koto strikers in attack and Manqele and Camaldine Abraw combined to create Chiefs’ first shot on goal in the 15th minute.

Quick play by Siboniso Gaxa and Bernard Parker opened space for Manqele who played in a delightful ball for Abraw – the burly forward brilliantly denied by Anssi Jaakkola.

The Finnish goalkeeper had to be at his brilliant best to deny Chiefs a late equaliser last Saturday and the stopper continued to shine, punching Parker’s free-kick from danger with Erick Mathoho and Ivan Bukenya lurking.

Paulse was nowhere to be seen in the opening half-hour, but the lanky forward started to make his presence felt as the game grew on.

First Riyad Norodien saw his cross-cum-shot just fly over in the 35th minute before Reyaad Pieterse made a vital intervention to clear from Paulse’s head.

Chiefs though ended the half the stronger of the two teams with Jaakkola ensuring that the teams headed into the break deadlocked with a superb save in the dying moments.

Tsepo Masilela found himself in a pocket of space before unleashing a left-footed shot which took a wicked deflection, but Jaakkola was up to the task once again.

The hosts came out a different side after the interval, applying constant pressure on the Chiefs goal, but with little effect as they failed to register a single shot on goal before the hour mark.

It would be Chiefs though to open the scoring through Manqele in the 65th minute. Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Siphiwe Tshabalala created the chance for the Chiefs striker who was left with an easy finish to open his account for the club.

Ajax hit back five minutes later through the in-form Paulse. The game winner at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Paulse made it two in two against the Glamour Boys with a towering header from a Cecil Lolo corner-kick which left Pieterse with no chance.

George Lebese came off the bench with 16 minutes to play and the Amakhosi wide man went close to restoring Chiefs’ lead in the 81st minute. Following good work by Gaxa down the right flank, the Bafana Bafana winger could only manage to direct his shot straight into the grateful hands of Jaakkola.

Lebese had another chance in stoppage time, but his effort lacked power as the match ended all square.

Ajax Cape Town 1 (Paulse 70′)
Kaizer Chiefs 1 (Manqele 65′)

Ajax: Jaakkola; Lolo, Mobara, Coetzee, Lebusa, Mdabuka, Mzwakali (Scott 90+4′), Graham, Losper (E.Isaacs 74′), Norodien (Cale 83′), Paulse

Chiefs: Pieterse; Gaxa, Mathoho, Bukenya, Masilela, Katsande, Letsholonyane, Tshabalala, Parker (Mthembu 90′), Abraw (Maluleka 84′), Manqele (Lebese 74′)

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