Baroka snatch late win over Stars
Posted: 16 September 2017 Time: 14:19
Baroka FC continued their dream start to the season with a 1-0 win over struggling Free State Stars in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.
The hosts dominated the first half, creating numerous opportunities and forcing Badra Ali Sangaré into some fine saves.
A superb ball over the top to Lucky Nguzana 17 minutes in caught Luc Eymael’s defence sleeping, but they were let off when the striker failed to hit the target.
Paulus Masehe in particular struggled to cope with the onslaught and was booked after 21 minutes for a reckless lunge on Talent Chawapiwa.
If there was one Stars player who threatened in the first half it was Sinethemba Jantjie, who justified his elevation to the starting line-up by giving the Baroka defence nightmares on the break.
Ea Lla Koto’s best chance of the half came 41 minutes in as a well-orchestrated counter-attack saw Jantjie break through. However, he failed to take the ball around Virgil Vries, giving the defence enough time to get back and deal with the danger.
Baroka continued to put pressure on the visitors at the start of the second half, but also saw Sipho Moeti pick up their first yellow card after 50 minutes.
Three minutes later, they made their first change as Robin Ngalande came on for Chawapiwa. Gift Motupa replaced Siphelele Ntshangase straight afterwards.
Eymael responded 56 minutes into the game, bringing Allen Nono on for Sibusiso Hlubi.
The misfiring Nguzana made way after 66 minutes, with Mpho Kgaswane coming on in his place.
Stars brought Mohammed Anas on for Katlego Mokhuoane right afterwards, before making their final change after 71 minutes with Danny Venter replacing Siphelele Mthembu.
The talking point of the second half came after 77 minutes, when Moeti was caught in the penalty area by a sliding challenge from Bangali Keita. Baroka appealed for a penalty, but to their amazement, none was given.
However, the hosts were rewarded for their persistence in the 84th minute as Kgaswane powered his way into the box and unleashed a shot, which found its way into the back of the net off a deflection.
Baroka will be delighted to have picked up their second win on the trot — albeit a scrappy one. Meanwhile Eymael’s charges will have to go back to the drawing board and may now seriously begin to fear that they may be in for a dogfight at the bottom of the table.
HOME: Baroka FC
Coach: Kgoloko Thobejane
AWAY: Free State Stars
Coach: Luc Eymael