Tashreeq Matthews scored a late equaliser for Ajax Cape Town as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Virginia Academy at Erica Park in Belhar on Friday afternoon.
The Urban Warriors were left frustrated for most of the Group C encounter as they squandered chance after chance to bag their second win of the tournament.
Vladislav Heric’ men dominated from the first whistle to the last, but almost paid for their lack of composure in the final third with a defeat.
Ajax best chance of the opening stanza fell to Luthando Mateza in the 23rd minute, but the midfield maestro could only succeed in guiding his shot wide with the goal at his mercy.
Last year’s runners-up were made to rue the miss soon after as the Free State outfit hit the front on the stroke of half-time. A wonder shot from way out catching goalkeeper Ronaldo Leaner off guard.
The Urban Warriors applied relentless pressure on the Virginia goal in the second-half with Heric’ catching those in attendance by surprise as he introduced defender Jay-Dee Adams in place of Sonwabile Mfecane.
The substitution, though, paid dividends as it was Adams who forced the Virginia goalkeeper into a save for Matthews to pounce on the rebound – the diminutive midfielder showing great bravery to throw himself at the ball to level matters in the 55th minute. 1-1 the final score.
Next up for the Urban Warriors is a clash against Grassy Park United on Saturday morning. Kick-off on Field A is scheduled for 10h15.