Baroka take charge of destiny
Bakgaga register first win of PSL playoffs to go top of the standings
Baroka FC .................... (2) 2 Letsoalo 10, 42 Black Leopards ............. (0)1 Zimu 67
BAROKA FC produced the first victory of this season’s PSL promotion play-offs after beating Black Leopards yesterday at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Their 2-1 victory also sees them overtaking Stellenbosch FC – with a two point lead – to stand alone on top of the minileague round robin standings leading into their tie with the Cape side at the same venue on Saturday.
In the first period, the Leopards rearguard struggled to handle the pressure from Baroka. They were caught on the back foot most of the time and when going forward, they also struggled to infiltrate their opposition. And that’s because Bakgaga came into this encounter desperate for a win, after having failed to protect their lead in their first meeting of the play-offs against Stellenbosch out in the Western Cape.
In that encounter, Kgoloko Thobejane’ side conceded twice, after having been the first ones to score in a 2-2 draw last month. Stellenbosch followed up this encounter with another draw, this time a goalless one against Baroka’s opponents yesterday.
Thobejane must have impressed a whole lot emphasis on his side holding their defensive line during their training sessions, leading up to this encounter, as this was the one area they were weak in during their previous match.
In this match, his players were spot on with their tackles in the first half.
Not even the likes of Siphelele Ntshangase, who is Lidoda Duvha’s creative genius in their final third, could breathe up front.
Olalenge Shaku and Co had him and his striking partners on lockdown.
In the final third, Baroka enjoyed the most with regard to attacking freedom.
They pressed their opponents well and their efforts were rewarded as early as the 10th minute of the match.
Victor Letsoalo registered his first goal of the afternoon after curling a back pass from Sipho Moeti over two Leopards defenders, who were lurking to clear off his shot, after their goalkeeper was knocked out.
Moeti had collided with Rotshidzwa Maluleka, who rushed off his line to meet him at the edge of his box. Unfortunately, for the shot-stopper, his head made contact with Moeti’s knee, which led to him being substituted to receive some medical attention on the sideline.
Just three minutes before the break, Letsoalo scored his second of the afternoon with a superb header, leaving substitute shot-stopper, Aubrey Mothibe, with no chance to make the required save.
In the second period, Leopards fought hard to try and get back into the game and were able to find the back of the net through Mziwokuthula Zimu.
He easily guided the ball into the back of the net after Oscarine Masuluke failed to handle an innocuous ball into his area, the oncoming shot slipping past through the goalkeeper’s fingers and falling into the path of the Leopards player, who easily converted the chance.
CELEBRATION TIME: Baroka FC’s Victor Letsoalo celebrates a goal during the PSL Promotional Playoffs match between his team and Black Leopards at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Braoka won 2-0