Erick Chipeta of Ajax Cape Town is challenged by Sipho Moeti of Baroka FC during the Absa Premiership match between Baroka FC and Ajax Cape Town.
JOHANNESBURG – The new Premiership season kicked off on Tuesday evening with newcomers Baroka FC playing out to a 1-1 draw with Ajax Cape Town at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Richard Matloga cancelled out an early Nathan Paulse penalty to earn the home side a valuable draw.
It meant that the big-talking hosts made a solid enough top-flight debut against a youthful Ajax team desperate for an improvement on a disappointing past campaign.
The Urban Warriors took the lead as early as the ninth minute, Nathan Paulse latching onto a hopeful ball into the box and was brought down by a clumsy challenge from Siphelele Zikalala.
The lanky Paulse then stepped up himself and made no mistake as he sent Oscarine Masuluke the wrong way to hand his team the lead.
Last season’s National First Division champions took a while to get into the contest and created their first opportunity only in the 18th minute. A well-worked move saw Collins Makgaka find some space but his effort at goal was parried to safety by Brandon Peterson in the Ajax goal.
Baroka started the second half on the front foot and got their reward just five minutes after the restart.
Matloga registered their first ever top-flight goal as he pounced on a Sipho Moeti cross and headed the ball home to pull his team level.
Ajax were desperate to find a winner and began to commit numbers forward.
They almost surrendered all three points five minutes from the full-time whistle as a swift counter attack allowed Makgaka an opportunity to strike at goal but Peterson was equal to the task.