Absa Premiership

Arrows dent Baroka survival hopes

Clinton Larsen (Gallo Images)
Clinton Larsen (Gallo Images)

Durban - Golden Arrows managed to hold on to a 3-2 victory over relegation threatened Baroka in a bizarre Premiership encounter at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Saturday.

Siphelele Magubane scored the only goal of the first-half, five minutes before the break before a late flurry of goals between Victor Letsoalo, Kudakwashe Mahachi and a Mzwanele Mahashe own goal resulted in a 3-2 scoreline.

Despite the five goals scored it was a poor league encounter marred by questionable officiating on the day - which could see Baroka lose out on their top-flight status.

The opening half hour didn't produce many noteworthy chances with conditions unfavourable for passing football, due to adverse weather conditions causing a heavy pitch.

It was always going to take a moment of individual brilliance for the deadlock to be broken between the out of form sides and it was midfielder Siphelele Magubane who provided that moment for the home supporters.

With his first goal in the South African top-flight, Magubane picked up a loose ball from 25-yards out to smash home a rasping drive into the top corner of goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini's net.

With the goal late into the first-half, it provided extra impetus and momentum for both teams to attack in the second 45 minutes.

Bakgaga had numerous opportunities to equalise but spurned countless half-chances in the area, with the composure in the final third being non-existent. However, with a stroke of luck they managed to equalise in scruffy circumstances.

The Arrows defence were in sixes and sevens following numerous direct cross field passes and Victor Letsoalo capitalised on a mistake from goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede and Limbikani Mzava to smash home from six yards out.

However, the celebrations for the visitors were short-lived, as Lerato Lamola forced an on goal as Mzwanele Mahashe failed to sort his feet out from a goal-line clearance.

Amidst the comedy of errors, Zimbabwe international Kudakwashe Mahachi provided a moment of real quality as he chipped Dlamini a minute later from just outside the area to provide Clinton Larsen's men with a two-goal cushion.

But the action didn't end just there, when the visitors stormed forward in search of something in their bid for survival.

First Letsoalo bundled home his second in the 87th minute and then in stoppage time referee Victor Gomes inexplicably gave the visitors a lifeline with a questionable penalty as Gumede collected the ball with an alleged high knee being raised.

And with that, Richard Matloga fired home a confident spot-kick but Gomes then bizarrely ruled the goal out for encroachment and no retake was offered.

The result at 3-2 now leaves Kgoloko Thobejane's side at the bottom of the table, two points from safety with two games remaining - while Abafana Bes'thende move back into the top eight.