Baroka FC got their Premiership season off to a winning start with a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.
Richard Mbulu and Nhlanhla Mgaga got the all-important goals for the hosts while Jose Ali Meza struck a late consolation on debut for his new club.
Bakgaga started the match with attacking intent and duly took the lead inside the first 10 minutes when Mbulu tapped in a cross from Ananias Gebhardt.
It was a good team goal by the home side as they played their way out from the back and found Gebhardt in heaps of space down the left-hand side, who in turn squared the ball to Mbulu for the easiest of finishes.
The Team of Choice almost levelled matters on the half-hour mark but Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze produced a good save from a Thabiso Kutumela header.
The hosts seemed intent on testing Bongani Mpandle in the Maritzburg goal with long-range efforts but Evidence Makgopa and Thamsanqa Masiya however shot wide. The visitors came out with more impetus after the halftime interval and Tebogo Tlolane tested Chipezeze a minute into the second stanza.
Baroka doubled their lead in the 57th minute when a superb long-range effort from Mgaga beat Mpandle and hit the right post and went into the back of the net.
Maritzburg then threw everything into attack as they sought a way back into the contest and Sibusiso Hlubi and Rushine De Reuck came close to finding the net.
It wasn't until five minutes before full-time that Maritzburg pulled a goal back with substitute and former Mamelodi Sundowns striker Meza latching onto a long pass from Keagan Buchanan and beating Chipezeze with a low effort.
De Reuck then had a glorious chance to level the match deep into stoppage time but headed agonisingly wide as Baroka held on for the three points.
- TEAMtalk media