‘Defence key for Baroka’
IF BAROKA FC shape up in defence then they could just pull off a relegation escape over the two remaining rounds of Absa Premiership matches.
The talk from the Limpopo club’s coach, Milton Dlamini, is still very much upbeat although they prop up the standings after the weekend’s 3-2 dramatic defeat to Golden Arrows in Durban. He has reason to be confident, given that his team are finding the net fairly comfortably.
They might have equalised at the death, from the penalty spot, but it was ruled out for encroachment by one of their players.
Prior to the game in Durban they stunned defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns with a come-from-behind 2-2 draw in Pretoria.
After two fighting displays on the road Baroka will be even tougher to beat when they host relegation rivals Highlands Park in the penultimate round of action on Wednesday night.
The penalty decision “shocked” Dlamini but he was optimistic that they could still escape the drop. The team that finishes bottom gets relegated automatically to the National First Division and the
second-bottom side fights on in the PSL promotional play-off.
“About the penalty, we were told that there are new rules that were supposed to be implemented anytime. If you have a penalty and you score, but if one of your players gets inside the area then the referee gives a free-kick to the opposition. In our case the referee claims one of our players got into the area before the goal was scored.
“It’s a new rule. We never got a circular to educate our players, so it was a shock to all of us.”
He conceded they were “sloppy at the back” but believes that they were not outplayed and that with some luck their scoring prowess would carry them through.
The result also gave Arrows a lifeline in terms of qualifying for the top eight.
Meanwhile, you could hear the Saint George SC fans singing and beating their drums from the stands in the media mixed zone at Lucas Moripe Stadium after they held Mamelodi Sundowns, the CAF Champions League defending champions, to as goalless draw on Saturday.
Coach Pitso Mosimane couldn’t work out why his side couldn’t score on the night, the reigning CAF African Coach of the year also admitted that they were most likely to have a difficult time of producing a winning result when they travel to Addis Ababa for their second leg.
“We didn’t push enough to win this match,” Mosimane said. “I don’t know whether it was a physical or a mental thing that the players struggled with (on the night). I’ll have to speak to them and to try to find out what was the problem, however, we had no aggression going forward.”
Meanwhile, Polokwane City defeated Kaizer Chiefs 1-0 in an Absa Premiership clash at a rainy Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday evening. Rise and Shine claimed their first win over the Amakhosi in league and cup competition.