Rangers Oust Ajax In Absa Cup

The second Absa Cup semi-final also went to penalties as Ajax Cape Town held Manning Rangers to 1-1 draw in an enthralling encounter which ended 6-5 in favour of the hosts at the Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday.

Tebogo Tsui converted his spot kick in a sudden-death penalty shoot-out which sent the 1996 Castle Premiership champions through to next round to face Moroka Swallows in the second edition of the Absa Cup.

Ajax pressurised their hosts from the start and looked as if they would find the net as the five-man Rangers defence soaked up the relentless attacks.

It was a Capetonian who opened the scoring but not for the visitors. Former Mother City striker Alton Meiring fought off bulky left-back Bradley August to beat onrushing Ajax keeper Moeneeb Josephs with a good low right-footed shot.

However, four minutes later Meiring went on to miss the easiest opportunity of the game from inside the six-yard box when he blasted the ball over the bar with Josephs at his feet.

The Cape glamour team were then restricted by the compact defence marshalled by Saul Molapo and Frank Schoeman.

The first half ended with the Durban team ahead with one goal.

Ajax coach Gordon Igesund rang the changes in the second half bringing the gangly striker Nathan Paulse on for defender Ashley Opperman and substituting his son, Grant Igesund, for veteran midfielder Ernest Mtwali.

It paid off as Paulse scored the all-important equaliser to send the travelling Cape fans into celebration.

Rangers' keeper John Tlale came off his line and missed the ball which Paulse headed against the upright but Paulse made sure from the rebound in the 66th minute.

Neither side could find a way to goal and were forced to play extra-time in which both coastal teams were again unsuccessful in their attempts to find a winner.

Penalties were upon them and Josephs made a fine save against Welcome Mazibuko, a feat which Tlale repeated against the Urban Warriors captain Alfred Phiri.

All eyes were on Tsiu to take Rangers to the Absa Cup final and the player responded by blasting past Josephs and sent the Durban crowd into a frenzy.

Swallows, who beat Santos 5-3 on penalties, will now play Rangers at a date and venue to be announced.

Read more about Ajax cape Town on the web site of the club .