Absa Premiership

Baroka stun Citizens in Polokwane

Benni McCarthy (Getty Images)
Benni McCarthy (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Baroka got their Premiership campaign up and running after claiming a convincing 2-1 victory over Cape Town City at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.

Cape Town City made a bright start in Polokwane, but Baroka soon took control of the game. Matthew Rusike linked up well with Thabo Nodada outside the area before hitting the side-netting from an angle on the left in the opening minute.

Bradley Ralani showed a good touch moments later to bring a diagonal pass under control on the left and cut inside before shooting over the crossbar from 18 yards out.

However, Bakgaga broke the deadlock on seven minutes following a powerful run from Matome Kgoetyane on the right to win a corner, which was steered inside the left post via the head of Kgaswane.

The hosts threatened to double their advantage six minutes later when Talent Chawapiwa made good headway down the right flank to send in a cross for Mpho Kgaswane, who sliced his shot well wide of the left post from inside the box.

Thabo Moseki was wayward with an ambitious effort from 30 yards out on 14 minutes, while Ayanda Dlamini was called into action for the first time three minutes later as Roland Putsche fired straight at him on the half-volley from 19 yards out on the right.

But the Limpopo outfit stretched their lead from another set-piece on 20 minutes as Kgoetyane glanced a header in off the left post with a little help from Mpho Matsi, after a free-kick was delivered from the right.

Ranga Chivaviro looked to catch Sage Stephens off his line two minutes later with a long-range effort from just outside the centre-circle, but saw the ball land on the roof of the net.

Dlamini was alert to the danger on 29 minutes as he raced out of goal to save at the feet of Nodada, who surged into the box on the left, while Taariq Fielies went close three minutes later with a curled shot on the turn from just outside the area that went wide of the left post.

Mkhize then wasted a good chance when he headed wide at the back post on 37 minutes after getting on the end of a free-kick from the left, before Ralani failed to keep his header down in the 43rd minute after Riyaad Norodien's cross was parried into his path by Dlamini.

Stephens kept the visitors in the contest as he spread himself to deny Mduduzi Mdatsane from 16 yards out in the final minute of the first half.

It proved crucial as the Citizens hit back two minutes into the second half. Dlamini spilled a cross under pressure from Rusike and Mkhize stabbed into the roof of the net from a yard out.

Moseki tried his luck from distance on 62 minutes, but comfortably cleared the bar with a 25-yard strike, before Mdatsane produced a similar result from even further out three minutes later.

Mkhize had another sniff at goal on 68 minutes after being picked out in space on the right by Putsche, although the defender could only side-foot over from inside the box.

Allan Kateregga had an even better opportunity seven minutes from time after connecting with Mkhize's cutback from the right, but he too fired over from 15 yards out.

Mdatsane almost added a third for Baroka in stoppage time after being slipped in by Chawapiwa on the right, however, Stephens charged off his save to save at the forward's feet.

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