Baroka look to re­tain PSL spot

CityPress - - Sport -

Baroka FC brushed Stel­len­bosch FC aside in the Na­tional First Di­vi­sion play-off match at Peter Mok­aba Sta­dium in Polok­wane yes­ter­day, win­ning by two goals to zero.

The win sees Bak­gaga re­main at the top of the play-off standings with seven points as they edge closer to re­tain­ing their sta­tus in the PSL. Stel­len­bosch stay in sec­ond with two points.

The home side got off to the best pos­si­ble start as they broke the dead­lock just two min­utes into the match.

Richard Mat­loga played a well-taken free-kick into the Stel­len­bosch box and Di­neo Shaku headed it home to make it 1-0 to Baroka.

The home side looked dan­ger­ous ev­ery time they pushed for­ward and they nearly dou­bled their lead in the 21st minute.

But Stel­len­bosch goal­keeper Washington Arubi was well-po­si­tioned to make a save from Baroka mid­fielder Mpho Kgaswane’s set piece.

With the haft-time break fast ap­proach­ing, the vis­i­tors were awarded a free-kick in the Bak­gaga half.

Stan­ley Muis­hond’s ef­fort from a free kick in search of Stel­len­bosch’s tow­er­ing for­ward Mame Niang was cleared away by Mat­loga.

Bak­gaga keeper Os­carine Ma­su­luke was then called into ac­tion and he punched away Stel­len­bosch mid­fielder Manti Mekoa’s corner kick.

The first half ended with Baroka lead­ing 1-0 and Stel­len­bosch had to find a way to beat Ma­su­luke in the sec­ond half.

The home side were the bet­ter side in the open­ing ex­changes of the sec­ond half as they looked to dou­ble the lead.

Baroka full­back Punch Mase­namela made an over­lap­ping run just be­fore the hour mark and he tried to beat Arubi at the near post, but the keeper made a low save.

Stel­len­bosch coach Sammy Troughton de­cided to make a tac­ti­cal change in the 62nd minute, pulling out the in­ef­fec­tive Niang for Cleopas Dube.

The vis­i­tors had to be cau­tious when push­ing for­ward in the clos­ing stages of the game as Bak­gaga looked dan­ger­ous on the coun­ter­at­tack.

But Stel­len­bosch were pun­ished in the 83rd minute when Mduduzi Mdantsane was sent through on goal, and he beat Arubi to seal Baroka’s 2-0 win.

Stel­len­bosch host bot­tom-of-the-log Black Leop­ards at Athlone Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day be­fore the ul­ti­mate clash be­tween Li­doda Du­vha and Bak­gaga in Tho­hoyan­dou on Satur­day.

With seven points, Baroka are closer to re­tain­ing their PSL sta­tus. How­ever, should Leop­ards win their two re­main­ing matches, goal dif­fer­ence might come in to play as the two Lim­popo sides would fin­ish tied at seven spoils apiece.

PHOTO: PHILIP MAETA / GALLO IM­AGES

GOT IT Mduduzi Mdantsane of Baroka FC cel­e­brates scor­ing his club’s sec­ond goal in yes­ter­day’s Na­tional First Di­vi­sion play-off match against Stel­len­bosch FC

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