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Peter Mokaba Stadium
03/04/2011 15:00

Baroka bring Birds down to earth

Posted: 3 April 2011 Time: 17:43

Vodacom League side Baroka caused a major upset when they beat Moroka Swallows 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane on Sunday.

From the first whistle, the so-called minnows took the fight to PSL outfit Swallows, defending and attacking as a team. The first chance of the match fell to Thobani Mncwango, who unleashed a shot from outside the box in the eight minute but it went wide to Aubrey Mathibe’s left.

Msimeli Baloyi, who had earlier had earlier had his attempt blocked in the box, won back possession and laid on a great ball for Mncwango, who failed to capitalise.

The miss didn’t deter Baroka, as the team from Ga-Mphahlele in Limpopo went on the offensive attacking the second-string ‘Dube Birds’. With eleven minutes on the clock Baroka won a corner and from the set piece Mncwango’s header flew just over the crossbar and in the 33rd minute, Baloyi failed to connect from a cross by Katlego Mashego. The ball hit Baloyi’s thigh and the Swallows defence cleared to ward off the danger.

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Swallows’ only real opportunity in the first stanza fell kindly to Morgan Shivambu. Augustine Leonard put in a great cross as halftime approached, but Shivambu was let down by his first touch in the box and the goalkeeper Avhashoni Tshinuna had the easiest of pickups. On the balance of play, Baroka coach Sello Chokoe could have been the happier of the two coaches at the interval.

Chokoe had an even better reason to smile when three minutes after the break his boys took a well-deserved lead. Swallows tried to play an offside trap and Mashego made a run, picked up the ball and scored past Mathibe. At this stage Swallows coach Gordon Igesund sensed defeat and made a double substitution. Igor Alves and Lwazi Skosana stepped into the fray for Mfundo Shumana and Tshepo Ramokala respectively in the 54th minute.

However, it was Baroka who continued to pile on the pressure. Sifiso Mbhele made a good run down the right in the 65th minute, sending a perfect cross to Mncwango, who missed a sitter when his left-footed strike flew wide off the target. Alves sparked Swallows back into the match when the Brazilian whipped in a curling free kick, which the Baroka defence failed to clear and the ball fell to Shaun Haschick’s right foot but his powerful shot was saved by Tshinuna for a corner.

Swallows were not to be denied any further, though, as Leonard unleashed a screamer to beat Tshinuna hands down in the 74th minute after an exchange of passes just outside the box. Six minutes later Baroka again got the better of Mathibe to regain their lead. Khunadi Nkoana caught Mathibe off his line but his shot from outside the box hit the upright and back into the box, but substitute Mashilo Moremi put Baroka ahead with his first touch, slamming the ball into the roof of the net.

Swallows’ erratic defence almost conceded an own goal in the dying moments, which didn’t help them avoid an embarrassing defeat.

Baroka FC: Tshinuma 8 – Mbhele 6, Mohwatseleng 6, Shaku 6, Thomo 6 – Ndlovu (Moremi 78th), Lantshene 7, Nkoana (Motupa 84th), Mashego 6 – Mncwango 5, Baloyi (Ramatjala 90th)

Swallows: Mathibe – Kobola, Mkhatshane, Mphahlele, Ferland – Shivambu, Khumalo, Shumana (Alves 54th), Ramokala (Skosana 54th) – Leonard, Zuma (Haschick 67th)

Cautions: Mohwatseleng, Ndlovu; Khumalo

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