Absa Premiership

Baroka look to retain PSL spot

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. Picture: 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. Picture: Philip Maeta / Gallo Images

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. – Backpage TXT

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