Maritzburg United recorded a fifth successive win over Ajax Cape Town to move up to sixth spot on the Absa Premiership standings, following a 2-1 triumph at Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening.
Tashreeq Morris opened the scoring for the hosts, but Deolin Mekoa and Siyanda Xulu found the back of net as the Team of Choice successfully came from behind to secure all three points.
The Urban Warriors got off to the perfect start in Muhsin Ertugral’s first game back at the Cape club, as Morris hit the back of the net with six minutes on the clock.
Fagrie Lakay, on debut, left Bevan Fransman in his wake before finding Tercious Malepe who in turn teed up Morris – the forward rattling the back of the net with a powerful header.
The Team of Choice, though, quickly gained a strangle-hold on proceedings and dominated possession for the remainder of the half.
Brandon Petersen with an excellent save to deny Mekoa in the 20th minute – moments after successive penalty claims by the visitors fell on deaf ears.
Malepe was then on hand to clear off the line 15 minutes later as Maritzburg United continued to ramp up the pressure.
Ajax Cape Town, though, had their chances with Mario Booysen forcing Richard Ofori into a good stop in the 40th minute. The goalkeeper diving to his right to keep out the defender’s towering header from a corner-kick.
Ajax Cape Town doing just about enough to hold a narrow 1-0 lead at the break.
Maritzburg duly came out firing following the break and pulled level 30 seconds into the second stanza. Mekoa pouncing on some lackluster defending for his second successive goal against Ajax Cape Town in the Mother City.
The Team of Choice continued to dominate proceedings and hit the front in the 69th minute. Xulu rising highest from a corner-kick to nod the visitors ahead in the Mother City.
The Urban Warriors tried their best to get back into the match in the closing stages, but Maritzburg held firm as the KwaZulu-Natal outfit kicked-off 2018 with a bang.
Defeat leaves the Urban Warriors in 15th spot on the log standings, as bottom of the log Bidvest Wits suffered a 1-0 defeat to Free State Stars at the same time.
Ajax Cape Town (1) 1 (Morris 6′)
Maritzburg United (1) 2 (Mekoa 46′ Xulu 69′)
Ajax Cape Town: Petersen; Ouattara (Nhlapo 71′), Pietersen (Makua 46′), Lebusa – Malepe, Mdabuka, Losper – Mosadi, Morris, Lakay (Phohlongo 77′).
Maritzburg United: Ofori; Ndlovu, Fransman, Xulu, Sanoka – Makaringe, Mekoa (De Reuck 90+3′) , Shandu, Maboe (Onyango 89′) – Mokate (Matima 62′), Rusike.