Baroka, Stars play out to a stalemate

Baroka FC and Free State Stars played out a goalless stalemate in their Absa Premiership clash at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday night.

The result sees Bakgaga extend their winless run to six league matches, though they do at least move up to 12th place on the table, while Ea Lla Koto have taken four points from their last two outings and are up to eighth spot.

Baroka started the match strongly and threatened in the opening minutes, with Mpho Kgaswane having a strong penalty appeal turned down, before Onkabetse Makgantai sent a lob over goalkeeper Badra Ali Sangare but saw it skip just wide of the mark.

Bakgaga had another glaring chance – again falling to Makgantai – in the 28th minute after a rebound from a corner kick fell kindly for the forward, but he put his header wide at the same time as taking a kick to the chest from teammate Ranga Chivaviro.

Stars’ main source of attack was finding beanpole striker Eleazar Rodgers and looking to build off his flick-ons or hold-up play. One such example created space for Goodman Dlamini to shoot from the edge of the box, but he sent his effort wide in the 12th minute.

The match was goalless at the break, while Stars were forced into a substitution at the start of the second half when Ricardo Ndiki replaced Sifiso Mbhele (who sustained a troublesome cut) in defence.

The Limpopo side created another chance for Makgantai a couple of minutes before the hour mark, but after showing some nifty footwork to slide past Tshepo Tema, the Botswana forward sent his shot high and wide.

Another half-chance arrived in the 77th minute when Kgaswane had space to get away a shot from the ‘D’ of Stars’ penalty area, but he scuffed his attempt and Sangare and made a comfortable save.

The closest either side came to a goal was in the 84th minute: a Baroka corner kick was knocked down by Kgaswane beyond the far post and substitute Jemondre Dickens sent a header into the top of the crossbar.

The teams will return to Absa Premiership action in a week’s time, with Baroka away to Limpopo rivals Black Leopards and Stars visiting Chippa United in the Eastern Cape.

Baroka FC 0

Free State Stars 0

Baroka: Chipezeze, Kgoetyane, Mabeba, Banda, Makume, Mdatsane (Dickens 79’), Mosele, Chivaviro (Moseki 63’), Kgaswane, Makgantai, Makgaka (Patjie 90+2’)

Stars: Sangare, Masehe, Mahamutsa, Mbhele (Ndiki 46’), Tema, Phungwayo, Jappie (Maruping 88’), Makhaula, Bhengu (Moseamedi 64’), Rodgers, Dlamini