Baroka win derby to rise off the bottom of the log

Baroka FC have risen off the bottom of the log in the Absa Premiership after a 1-0 win over derby rivals Polokwane City at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

An early penalty decided the game, though Bakgaga needed late heroics from their goalkeeper to ensure they claimed the three points and rose to 13th on the log, with the result dropping Rise and Shine down to 16th and last spot.

Baroka got off to the perfect start, with Ranga Chivaviro opening the scoring from the penalty spot in the second minute. The penalty was awarded for a clumsy foul from Mpho Mvelase on striker Richard Mbulu.

The early goal allowed the hosts to settle into a confident rhythm of play, and they enjoyed the majority of possession. Polokwane also suffered an injury blow inside the opening quarter of the match when Lesiba Nku limped off and was replaced by Kabelo Mahlasela.

Rise and Shine gradually found their footing in the game and the combination of Jabulani Maluleka and Edgar Manaka very nearly sent Charlton Mashumba free on goal in the 38th minute, but the striker was denied by a combination of Elvis Chipezeze and Denwin Farmer.

The subsequent corner kick saw Polokwane direct two efforts on target, both of which were cleared off the line by Collins Makgaka, while seconds later at the other end of the field Mbulu had a free header from a left-flank cross but failed to hit the target.

Baroka made a change early in the second half when they replaced Isaac Selemela with Tshidiso Patjie, while a few minutes later they were forced into another substitution when Mbulu appeared to pull a hamstring, necessitating the introduction of Kgotso Maloka.

Polokwane upped their game as the second half wore on and began to put major pressure on the home side’s defence. They boosted their attack with the introduction of Mohammed Anas with just under a quarter-hour to play.

Baroka needed goalkeeper Chipezeze to make an excellent save in the 77th minute, diving sharply to his left to turn away a snap shot from Mashumba which looked destined to nestle in the bottom corner of the net.

The Bakgaga ‘keeper made several more fine saves in the remaining minutes, while defender Kenneth Nthatheni struck the woodwork on 89 minutes, summing up a frustrating afternoon for Rise and Shine.

Baroka missed out on chances on the counter attack to double their advantage, but ultimately they were able to secure a key victory in their fight to avoid relegation from the top flight.

The teams will return to Premiership action next weekend: Baroka will be away to Stellenbosch on the evening of Friday 17 January, while Polokwane will host Golden Arrows on the afternoon of Sunday 19 January.

Baroka FC (1) 1 (Chivaviro 2’ pen)

Polokwane City 0


Baroka: Chipezeze, Kgoetyane, Gebhardt, Farmer, Ngubane, Chivaviro, Mosele, Selemela (Patjie 48’), Phiri Jr, Makgaka, Mbulu (Maloka 56’)

Polokwane City: Chigova, Mvelase, Nthatheni, Chauke, Hlongwane, Booi, Manaka, J. Maluleke (Hlubi 70’), Nku (Mahlasela 23’), Tlolane (Anas 73’), Mashumba