Baroka FC moved off the foot of the DStv Premiership table with a 1-0 win over Royal AM, who missed out on second spot on Wednesday afternoon.
Four alterations from Baroka showed in Elvis Chipezeze, Bonginkosi Makume. Dan Ndhlovu and Nhlanhla Mgaga, while AM named Jeffrey Dlamini and Menzi Masuku as their changes.
Kgoloko Thobejane’s men made a positive start in the opening exchanges and threatened the lead from a free-kick by Sekele Sithole, but he couldn’t find target as Hugo Nyame saved.
Royal AM remained quiet for much of the first half, which allowed Bakgaga Ba Ga Mphahlele to dictate matters through Mgaga from the middle of the park and forward Richard Mbulu.
Thobejane’s men continued to enjoy the better openings inside halftime, as Mgaga drilled a shot from outside the area over the bar following clever play in midfield.
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The second half continued to see little clear-cut chances, but Baroka still enjoyed the better part of the openings albeit small as the second stanza began to settle down.
Both sides felt the need to change this approach in the middle of the second period and did so from the bench in the introduction of Ayabulela Maxwele for AM and Evidence Makgopa for Bakgaga.
The host though got rewarded for their commanding display through the encounter when Sithole struck the winner with six minutes to go.
That was all it took Bakgaga to bag the maximum points that saw them end their year on a high and with that leaped from the foot of the table.
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mphahlele, Makume, Farmer, Sithole, Kambala, Ngubane, Ndhlovu, Bobete, Mgaga, Mbulu
Subs: Masuluke, Sibiya, Goldstone, Malivha, Nikitaridis, Masiya, Makgopa, Moabelo, Kgositsile.
Royal AM: Nyame, Mkhize, Masuku, Mahashe, George, Dlamini, Manganyi, Lingwati, Mahlasla, Mabena, Matjila.
Subs: Mpoto, Msomi, Pelembe, Monamodi, Mdluli, Tchilimbou, Maxwele, Letsoalo