Baroka keep survival fight alive with win over SuperSport

Baroka FC will take their DStv Premiership survival fight to the final match of the season after they claimed a 3-1 win over SuperSport United at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A brace of first-half penalties from defender Bonkinkosi Makume, as well as a second-half strike from Evidence Makgopa, took Bakgaga ba Mphahlele to victory, with the result lifting them to 25 points.

They remain bottom of the log, but trail 15th-placed Swallows FC (who were held 0-0 at home by Chippa United) only on goal difference, while 14th-placed TS Galaxy are just two points further ahead (after they were held 0-0 by Marumo Gallants). The Limpopo side can therefore still avoid direct relegation, and possibly even the playoffs, should results go their way next weekend.

As for Matsatsantsa, this 10th defeat of the season leaves them on 37 points and in eighth place on the log, but their spot in next season’s MTN8 could yet be snatched away by Golden Arrows, who trail only on goal difference.

SuperSport offered up the first threat on goal as early as the second minute, with Thamsanqa Gabuza heading just wide after meeting Onismor Bhasera’s cross from the left flank.

Baroka also looked keen to attack from early on, with Kgodiso Monama seeing an effort deflect off a defender from a promising chance, while Decide Chauke was denied in a one-on-one chance by a fine save from goalkeeper Boalefa Pule.

Bakgaga’s Sekela Sithole also struck the woodwork on the 20-minute mark, with the hosts not afraid to test the opponent’s defence, and they were soon rewarded with two debatable penalties for hand-balls from Keenan Phillips and Siyabonga Nhlapo.

Defender Bonkinkosi Makume took on the responsibility of the spot kicks and scored from both in the 25th and 29th minutes to put the hosts in control at 2-0 up.

Stung by the two goals conceded, United looked to shuffle their line-up with the introduction of Talent Mbatha off the bench just past the half-hour mark, though Baroka were able to control the match and head into the interval with their strong lead intact.

SuperSport made a further change early in the second stanza when Moses Waiswa replaced Jamie Webber in midfield, while Baroka almost added to their advantage via a solo effort from Monama which saw him jink past a couple of challenges before poking a shot just wide of the target on the hour mark.

However, Monama would play a key role in the third goal for Baroka, with another brilliant run from the left on 75 minutes ending with a cross speared toward the near post and glanced home with aplomb by Evidence Makgopa to secure the key victory for the Limpopo side.

SuperSport pulled a goal back on 81 minutes, with Aubrey Ngoma scoring a superb strike direct from a free kick, but it proved only a consolation for the team from Tshwane.

The teams are scheduled to complete their DStv Premiership campaigns next Saturday, 21 May: Baroka will be away to Maritzburg United, while SuperSport’s match at home to Orlando Pirates will likely be postponed, with the Soweto club in a strong position to book a place in next weekend’s CAF Confederation Cup final.

Baroka FC (2) 3 (Makume 25’ pen 29’ pen, Makgopa 75’)

SuperSport United (0) 1 (Ngoma 82’)

Baroka:Mabokgwane, Ndlovu (Bobete 81’), Shozi, Makume, Ngubane, Masiya, Monama (Sibiya 86’), Kambala, Sithole (Mokhabi 81’), Chauke, Makgopa

SuperSport United:Pule, Phillips, Nhlapo, Fleurs, Bhasera (Ngobeni 90+2’), Maseko (Ngoma 71’), Webber (Waiswa 46’), Donn, Rasebotja (Mbatha 33’), Lungu, Gabuza