Zakri at the double as Ajax stun Pirates
Ivorian forward Yannick Zakri scored twice as struggling Ajax Cape Town completed a 3-0 victory over Orlando Pirates at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday.
But the scoreline does not tell the full story, with Pirates having the majority of the possession and wasting a number of superb chances to get something from the game.
It was Ajax's first league victory over Pirates in seven years and despite the three points they remain second-bottom of the league after AmaZulu stunned SuperSport United with a 1-0 away win in the other game on the night.
Pirates played the game under protest as Ajax decided to select striker Tendai Ndoro, who earlier in the day had been cleared for action by a Premier Soccer League Dispute Resolution Chamber, despite the fact he was featuring for his third club this season, in contravention of FIFA regulations.
Ironically, one of those sides was Pirates, and despite not getting on the scoresheet, Ndoro worked hard up-front in a good display.
Ajax were ahead on 12 minutes when captain Musa Lebusa headed home a corner by Yagan Sasman, with the Pirates marking at the set-piece very poor.
It as 2-0 just past the half-hour make when Zakri got his first. Grant Margeman spread the ball to Ndoro out wide and the Zimbabwean's cross was poked home by the Ivorian.
Ajax had used all three of their substitutes by the start of the second half, losing Lebusa to injury, goalkeeper Brandon Petersen to a suspected concussion, and having also made a tactical switch in the opening period.
Pirates laid siege to their goal in the second half and missed two glorious chances to level the game.
First fullback Innocent Maela produced a contender for miss of the season when he arrived alone at the back post, but steered the ball high and wide from five yards out with the goal gaping. Thembinkosi Lorch then blasted over from a similar distance when it seemed easier to score.
There was always the possibility that Ajax would catch Pirates on the break, and so it proved as debutant right-back Siyanda Zwane rampaged forward and his cross was turned home by a limping Zakri, who had suffered cramp for most of the final 20 minutes.
SuperSport's poor form continued as they lost 1-0 at home to AmaZulu, with the only goal of the game coming from Zimbabwean Ovidy Karuru on the 54th minute.
SuperSport handed debuts to Evans Rusike and Mogakolodi Ngele, but it proved another difficult night for them and they sit just a single point above the relegation zone almost a third of the way through the season.