Arrows pile more pain on Baroka

Golden Arrows have piled more pain on bottom-of-the-log Baroka FC after claiming a narrow 1-0 win over the relegation candidates in an Absa Premiership match at Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Abafana Bes’thende’s victory, courtesy of a goal from Gladwin Shitolo, takes them into the top half of the table, while Bakgaga remain rock bottom and miss out on the chance to capitalise on losses for fellow strugglers Stellenbosch and Polokwane City on Tuesday.

Arrows started brightly, bringing the likes of Lerato Lamola and Danny Venter into play early on, though they lacked the precision and penetration to force a goal in the opening minutes.

Baroka suffered an injury blow just after the quarter-hour mark when midfielder Goodman Mosele had to make way for Kulegani Madondo, but they soon began to find their rhythm in attack and fed regular passes to the dangerous Tshidiso Patjie and Ranga Chivaviro.

Around the half-hour mark Arrows tested out Elvis Chipezeze with efforts on goal from Venter and Michael Gumede, but the Baroka goalkeeper was comfortably equal to the task on each occasion.

The Limpopo side made a second forced substitute in the first half, with defender Phelelani Shozi making way for Sbonelo Ngubane in the 39th minute, but the score remained 0-0 up to the halftime break.

The teams continued to cancel each other out in the second half, with Arrows looking to boost their creativity with the introduction of Lindokuhle Mtshali and Velemseni Ndwandwe around the hour mark.

And Abafana Bes’thende were rewarded for their endeavour, with Lerato Lamola scoring with a fine strike direct from a free kick in the 70th minute, giving the Durban side a hard-earned but deserved lead.

Baroka’s final throw of the dice in an effort to get back into the game was to introduce Collins Makgaka off the bench with just under 15 minutes of regulation time remaining, but a late red card for Manuel Kambala scuppered their hopes of a comeback.

Baroka will return to Premiership action this coming weekend, with a clash at home to Polokwane City on Saturday, while Arrows will only be back in action on January 19 when they face Polokwane City away.

Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Shitolo 70’)

Baroka FC 0

Arrows: Mlungwana, Dube, Sibisi, Mathiane, Nkombelo, Venter (Mtshali 61’), Shitolo, Phiri (Ndwandwe 65’), Makhubela, Lamola (Sibeko 77’), Gumede

Baroka: Chipezeze, Kgoetyane, Shozi (Ngubane 39’), Farmer, Gebhardt, Mbulu, Kambala, Mosele (Madondo 18’), Maloka, Patjie (Makgaka 76’), Chivaviro