Celtic no match for Ajax
The Free State side offered little in attack and could have lost by more if Ajax had been more prolific.
The first half, played in blistering heat, saw the home side dominating most of the half and dictating the pace of the game.
But despite creating numerous half chances and several good opportunities, the Cape side went into the break at 0-0.
The first opportunity of the game fell to Khama Billiat in the eighth minute, but he was unable to follow up a lovely touch with a decent finish.
Celtic’s first chance came in the 13th minute and saw former Pirates striker Ezenwa Otorogu’s lob cleared off the line by Sander Westerveld.
Granwald Scott was then denied by Patrick Tignyemb with a well-hit 20-yard effort, before Billiat had another good chance when he was played in by Nhlanhla Vilakazi, but the chance went a-begging due to a poor first touch.
Ajax got the goal they deserved just after the break - in the 48th minute Maluleka got to the by-line and managed to force a cross-cum-shot over the line.
The Urban Warriors went searching for a second as Maluleka sent a free kick just wide before Billiat and then Manyama were denied by Tignyemb.
Mathew Booth did increase the lead - he made it 2-0 on the hour mark with a powerful header from Maluleka’s corner.
Chances continued to flow for Ajax, especially for Billiat, and also Vilkazi, but failed to add a third due to some poor finishing and also some good shot stopping by Tignyemb.