Ajax Cape Town got their 2017 Bayhill Premier Cup campaign off to the perfect start, beating Stephanians Ottery 4-0 at Erica Park on Thursday afternoon.
The margin could have been greater, but last year’s runners-up squandered several glorious chances – especially in the first half.
Sonwabile Mfecane was especially unlucky as he saw his early effort from pin-point range fly over the crossbar. Ajax Cape Town, though, never dropped their heads and were duly rewarded for their tenacity just before the break.
Juanito Manuel showing greater composure inside the area before beating the goalkeeper at his near post, 1-0 at the interval.
Vladislav Herić men came out flying in the second stanza and doubled their lead through Mfecane who made up for his earlier miss.
Manuel then completed his brace for the Urban Warriors before Leo Thethani bagged himself a goal following good work by Tashreeq Matthews. Manuel could have had himself a hat-trick, but his penalty attempt was saved by the Ottery shot-stopper.
“The field was not suitable for our style of play only teams that play long ball can play here,” said Heric after the game.
“The first game is about motivating the players, but as the tournament progresses we have to be more clinical and very tactical.
Heric continued: “If we had played a stronger team they would have capitalized on the chances we missed.
“It was unfortunate that our captain Luthando Mateza took a knock to his knee, the medical stuff is closely monitoring his situation and should be available to lead his troops tomorrow in the second group game against Virginia Academy,” he concluded.
Starting 11: Leaner; Kammies, Bull, Solomons, Lucas (Ntsabo) – Vester (Koopstadt), Mateza (Pelston), Matthews – Thethani (Wakefield), Manuel, Mfecane