Baroka beat Leopards to go top
Posted: 7 June 2017 Time: 14:51
Baroka took a big step towards securing their Absa Premiership survival as they clinched a 2-1 win over Black Leopards in the PSL Promotional Playoffs at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday.
Baroka made the breakthrough after 10 minutes, albeit in highly controversial fashion as Leopards goalkeeper Tyson Muleka took a knee to the head during a 50-50 challenge, subsequently losing the ball which Victor Letsoalo eventually chipped into an empty net.
The goalkeeper eventually needed to be substituted, but not before the game was delayed for eight minutes for him to receive treatment on what was later confirmed to be a concussion.
Baroka looked for all the world like they would double their lead with 26 minutes gone as Letsoalo got on the end of a pin-point delivery to leave the goal and keeper at his mercy, but he got his jump all wrong and ballooned his header over the crossbar.
The hosts would eventually grab their second goal four minutes before half-time, and there was no doubt about this one as Letsoalo managed to get goal-side of his marker at the near post to thump his header home from another brilliant cross from the right wing.
Lidoda Duhva came out a stronger side after the break but failed to truly test Oscarine Masuluke in the opening 60 minutes, with Phathutshedzo Nange’s long-range shot straight at the keeper the closest the visitors came.
Leopards were eventually rewarded for their improved performance, though, as Masuluke gifted them a goal on a platter after fumbling a routine cross into the box, with Mziwokuthula Zimu taking full advantage to turn the ball into an empty net.
The visitors continued knocking at the door and came within a whisker of drawing themselves level with 74 minutes gone but Zimu was cruelly denied by the upright after his header from yet another great delivery had left Masuluke beaten all ends up.
Musonda then came close to finding the equaliser in the final minute of regulation time but saw his well-struck curler tipped away by the home keeper, although there was to be no way back for Leopards, who now find themselves bottom of the three-team mini-league after taking one point from two games, one behind Stellenbosch and now three adrift of new leaders Baroka.
PSL Promotion Playoff standings:
1. Baroka P2 W1 D1 L0 Pts4
2. Stellies P2 W0 D2 L0 Pts2
3. Leopards P2 W0 D1 L1 Pts1
Baroka: Masuluke, Kgoetyane, Mahashe, Shaku, Masenamela, Matloga, Munetsi, Mdatsene, Ndlovu (Garcia 46'), Moei, Letsoalo.
Leopards: Muleka (Mathibe 19'), Munyai, Munganga, Ndou, Mabotja, Mkhulise, Abubakar, Nange, Mahangwahaya, Musonda, Ntshangase.