Ajax has had a majority stake in Ajax Cape Town in South Africa since 1999. In the ‘Message from Cape Town’ column, we feature the African Ajax team regularly. In this edition of the season, we look back on a hot weekend in Cape Town, during which the derby between Ajax CT and Chippa United took place.
Ajax is still slugging it out in the bottom of the PSL League, South Africa’s Eredivisie. Interim coach Jan Pruijn’s team has only managed to cobble together nine points, one fewer than city-mates Chippa United, which was founded in June 2010. Ajax CT’s task was clear: win in order to move ahead of Chippa, where several former players from Ajax Cape Town’s youth academy are active.
The derby had all of the elements that make derbies so exciting, with action and drama in spades. The unfolding of the score played an important part in this. Ajax Cape Town opened the score in the eighteenth minute when Khama Billiat, on a pass from Granwald Scott, scored. Ajax wasn’t able to enjoy this lead for very long as their city rivals tied the game one minute later; 1-1. Ajax Cape Town’s heavy ball possession resulted in a good opportunity for Billiat, but Chippa, on counter attack, was the team which, surprisingly, took the lead before halftime.
For Ajax Cape Town, it was time to get things back in order in the second half. Left back Musa Lebusa tied the game. But it wasn’t over by a long shot, because the Urban Warriors took the lead after about an hour of play in the Cape Town Stadium. Latest acquisition Wanderson chipped the ball over the Chippa keeper into the empty goal.
A great last half hour unfolded after that, during which Chippa tried to force a tie, and Ajax Cape Town attempted to run away with the game. But neither team succeeded, and after ninety minutes, a close but well-earned 3-2 win stood on the scoreboard. Ajax Cape Town leapfrogged over Chippa in the rankings by taking 3 points, and is currently in twelfth place. Next week, an away match against Kaizer Chiefs awaits.