ajax hot for sloppy bucs

Thami Nqolobe

Ajax Cape Town got their title challenge back on track when they beat a hapless Orlando Pirates 2-0 in an Absa Premiership match at Athlone Stadium last night.

The Urban Warriors went into this match motivated by SuperSport United's 1-3 defeat by Mamelodi Sundowns on Monday.

The win lifted Ajax back to the top of the log on 47 points from 26 matches.

They are tied with United on points but the Cape side have scored more goals.

Ajax went into recess leading 1-0, thanks to Nathan Paulse's free header from a corner kick by Mkhanyiseli Siwahla on the stroke of half-time.

Pirates defence was suspect, with Happy Jele and Innocent Mdledle failing to handle Paulse and co.

Left-footed Mdledle was clearly struggling on the right flank and many wondered why coach Owen da Gama played him on that side.

It was also not a wise decision for Da Gama to start with Manuel "Tico-Tico" Bucuane who looked rusty after not playing for a long time.

Bucuane was replaced by Gilbert Mushangazhike after the break

The hosts took the match to the Buccaneers from first whistle and they should have scored in the first minute, but Nhlanhla Shabalala failed to capitalised on goalie Senzo Meyiwa's blunder.

Four minutes later, the stylish Ajax's midfielder Mkhanyiseli Siwahla also fluffed a good opportunity.

Excellent Walaza's effort in the 10th minute was ruled off-side by referee Jonas Nhlapo.

Russell Mwafulirwa scored the second goal in added time.