Baroka, Pirates play out stalemate

Baroka FC and Orlando Pirates played out a goalless stalemate in their DStv Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The result was overshadowed by a horror injury for Buccaneers player Paseka Mako near the end of the match, while the result left the Soweto side in fourth place and put a dent in their hopes of claiming second at the end of the season. Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele, meanwhile, remain at the bottom of the log.

The first shot in anger came from Baroka midfielder Manuel Kambala in the fifth minute, as he let fly from long range but saw his effort plucked out of the air by Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori.

Pirates took their time to find an attacking rhythm, but they nearly claimed the lead with a sweeping passing move midway through the first half which ended with Siphesihle Ndlovu striking a volley narrowly off target from just inside the penalty area.

The Buccaneers went close again in the 28th minute: Deon Hotto struck the post with a shot direct from a free kick before Goodman Mosele turned home the rebound, but the midfielder was correctly flagged offside.

Late in the first half Baroka suffered an injury blow when speedy forward Train Mokhabi was forced off after picking up a knock in challenge with Bandile Shandu. Lanky striker Evidence Makgopa rose off the bench to take Mokhabi’s place.

The first half closed with the score still locked at 0-0, while the opening chance of the second stanza saw Baroka’s Dan Ndlovu latch onto a poor clearance from Hotto and shoot on target, only for Ofori to make a nervy save with his legs.

Pirates made a trio of changes on the hour mark to try and spark their attack back into life, with Wayde Jooste, Fortune Makaringe and Thembinkosi Lorch introduced, while Kwame Peprah also made his entrance just under 10 minutes later.

Bakgaga also opted for a raft of changes a few minutes after a stoppage for a temporary floodlight failure – with Richard Mbulu, Sbonelo Ngubane, Nhlanhla Mgaga and Sipho Maluleke thrown on – but chances remained hard to come by.

The match was further disrupted by a horrible incident in which Paseka Mako seemed to be knocked out cold in a collision with Ofori. The Pirates defender, after extensive treatment, was taken off the pitch in an ambulance and his teammates were left distraught at his condition.

Fortunately the match restarted and was soon brought to a sombre end, with the score at 0-0.

Baroka will return to DStv Premiership action with a match away to Swallows FC on 24 April, while Pirates’ next league clash is at home to Chippa United on 27 April.