Baroka out to upset Stellenbosch

Baroka FC will head to the Mother City hoping to claim a win as they face Stellenbosch FC in a National First Division/Premier Soccer League Promotional play-off tie at Athlone Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Kick-off is at 3pm, live on SS4HD.

Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele are in high spirits after their late survival in the Absa Premiership in their final game of the 2016/17 season.

The Limpopo side managed to save their PSL status as they managed to fight for a win over Ajax Cape Town on Saturday in Cape Town.

However, they still have to fight for their lives in the Play-Offs as they meet another Mother City in Stellenbosch.

Milton Dlamini's men are hoping to claim their first three points in the mini league and boost their campaign to ensure they play in the elite division come the 2017/18 season.

Baroka finished at number 15 with 28 points from five wins, 13 draws and 12 losses in their first season in the top tier.

“We decided to stay over in Cape Town because there's a lot to consider when it comes to climate because the conditions are different here,” said Dlamini following the Ajax match.

“We had to acclimatise and I can tell you the win over Ajax has helped us a lot. We have boosted our morale and we will give our best against Stellenbosch.

“Look, we have young players who want to make a name for themselves in the PSL, they see Baroka as the right team to realise such dreams with.

“As coaches, our role is to ensure they do not become complacent and we must push them to fight for a win – all in all, we are ready for the play-offs.”

Looking at the hosts, the Stellenbosch-based outfit is led by an experienced technical team which includes Sammy Troughton and Steve Barker.

Both coaches previously worked in the elite division as they led the University of Pretoria, but meeting a desperate Baroka will present challenges.

The NFD side had a good run in their league campaign as they managed to finish at number three, behind NFD champions Thanda Royal Zulu and Black Leopards who also qualified for the play-offs.

Stellenbosch collected 49 points from 30 matches as they lost nine, drew seven and bagged 14 wins in their 2016/17 campaign.

In their previous three matches, they beat fellow Capetonians in Cape Town Santos, lost to Milano as well as a 2-1 defeat against Roger Sikhakhane's Amabhubesi.

Formerly known as Vasco Da Gama FC, the team campaigned in the PSL during the 2010/11 season via play-offs, but were relegated after one term through the promotion play-offs.

A win for the Mother City side will boost their morale ahead of their next encounter against Black Leopards next weekend in Thohoyandou.

“The first game is coming and we are under pressure to get the result against Baroka. This will be tougher than ever, and then going to Limpopo twice is not child’s play,” said Troughton.

“But we are ready for the occasion. All three teams are desperate, we want to make our presence felt. We know Baroka’s strengths and weaknesses, we will capitalise on their mistakes.

“They want to retain their PSL status, we respect them but also want to be promoted.”

Although this is the first play-off match for Baroka, the two teams will meet for the third time having first met during the 2015/16 NFD season as Baroka claimed a win and a draw.