Baroka FC 1 (0).
Black Leopards 0
It is often said that lightning never strikes the same place twice, but it indeed happened when Baroka defeated Black Leopards twice in one week at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Saturday’s 1-0 victory, courtesy of an own goal by Leopards defender Joseph Douhadji, followed last week’s 2-0 win over the same Leopards at the same stadium.
In the process, Baroka continued their dominance over their Limpopo rivals – this was their third victory against Lidoda Duvha this season.
But yesterday’s victory meant more than the three points they collected last week – it booked them a place in the Nedbank Cup semifinals.
Perhaps this was a blessing in disguise for Leopards, who can now channel their efforts into avoiding the chop. The struggling team is facing relegation and will need to win a few games if the chop is to be avoided.
Allan Clark’s team are at the bottom of the log with 20 points and only six matches left.
It remains to be seen if the under-fire Clark will remain as Leopards coach until the end of the season – the club is known for not wasting time when it comes to firing underperforming coaches.
Yesterday’s game was not a good advert for South African football as both teams failed to live up to expectations.
The first half did not produce many scoring chances, and neither team threatened each other’s goalkeepers.
The only talking point was the penalty call that was not awarded to the visitors after Baroka defender Phelelani Shozi tackled Leopards striker Thobani Mncwango inside the penalty box in the 25th minute.
The second half was much better as the pace of the game was little faster.
Lidoda Duvha striker Mwape Musonda nearly opened the scoring in the 57th minute, but his shot inside the box from a fine pass by his captain Thabo Matlaba was brilliantly saved by Baroka and Zimbabwean international goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.
Baroka were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute, but their captain, Gerald Phiri Jr, missed from the spot when his shot went wide.
But they were in front two minutes later after Douhadji tapped Tshediso Patjie’s cross into his own net.
Baroka join Bidvest Wits in the semifinals after the Clever Boys hammered GladAfrica Championship side Royal Kings 4-0 on Friday night.