Ajax Cape Town kept the pressure on log leaders Kaizer Chiefs with a 1-0 victory over a lacklustre SuperSport United at a hot Loftus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The game got off to an open start with both teams enjoying their fair share of possession in the early stages.
The first chance of the game fell to the hosts after some sloppy defending by Ajax allowed Seuntjie Motlhajwa to shoot, but his attempted lob just went over the crossbar - to the relief of Ajax keeper Moeneeb Josephs.
Dillon Sheppard, who had just come as a substitute, made an immediate impact in the 17th minute when he played a one-two with Wilfred Mugeyi inside the SuperSport United box, but keeper Calvin Marlin pulled off a great save to deny his former teammate.
Sheppard continued throughout the half to create problems for the SuperSport defence on the left hand flank, while Josep Ngake did the same down the right flank.
By this stage Ajax were starting to dominate possession, while SuperSport relied on fast breaks to counter-attack. One such break by Chris Mwamba in the 28th minute nearly lead to Abram Raselemame getting on the end of a cross, but his effort flew into the side netting.
Themba Mnguni should have put the home side up in the 31st minute when a perfectly flighted free kick fell onto his head, but he was not able to keep his header under the cross-bar.
Both teams continued to push forward in search of the opening goal, but neither side was able to find the back of the net by the time the referee blew the whistle for half time.
Mnguni has another chance to score from a corner in the early minutes of the second stanza, but once again his header was off target.
This miss proved to be costly as Ajax moved the ball quickly down the field.
The ball fell to Tsholola Tshinyama, who made a strong run through the heart of the SuperSport defence, before finishing with a well taken left-footed volley.
Ajax were unlucky not to increase their lead a few minutes later when Wilfred Mugeyi headed home after Cyrille Kitambala had headed the ball across goal, but the ball was adjudged to have gone over the dead ball line before the DRC player made contact.
Moeneeb Josephs was then called into action when a speculative cross-cum-shot from Raselemame nearly caught him out, but the Ajax keeper recovered just in time to push the ball over the bar.
Ajax then again came close to scoring when Sheppard crossed to Ngake, whose flick header managed to hit the bar before rebounding into SuperSport keeper Grant Johnson's hands. (Johnson had come on as a substitute after Calvin Marlin had picked up a hamstring injury).
In the 79th minute a SuperSport corner fell to Phil Evans, but he was not able to keep his volley on target.
A minute later substitute Daniel Matsau also had a chance to equalise, but the former Hellenic striker rushed his shot.
Josephs was again called into action when a Pitso Lekone cross was deflected towards his goal, but the Ajax keeper reacted well enough to deny Matsatsantsa their final chance.
The result sees the Urban Warriors move up into joint second position, while SuperSport United remain in 11th position.
More about Ajax Cape Town on the club's web site