Baroka FC 2-0 Black Leopards
Baroka emerged from a crucial encounter against Black Leopards with a hard-fought 2-0 win at the Pietersburg Stadium in the Premiership on Saturday.
Both sides came into the match desperate for a win - but also desperate not to lose - as are both in danger of getting involved in a relegation scrap.
Baroka began the match second last in the standings on 17 points. At the end of the season, the team in 15th place is entered in a promotion/relegation playoff against the teams that came second and third in the National First Division to play for one place in the Premiership.
However, with the win, the home side moved level on points but above Black Leopards on goal difference which means they are now in line for the playoff unless their form improves in the remaining eight fixtures of the campaign.
While both sides created chances, the early exchanges were very tentative as neither side was wanting to commit too much going forward and get caught on a counter.
This made it easy for the defences to repel attacks and most early attempts were limited to long-range and inaccurate attempts.
Both sets of defenders were in top form too and it appeared from early on that it would take something out of the ordinary to break the deadlock.
That moment came in the 40th minute but instead of it being a piece of magic, it was a woeful error that supplied the games first goal. An embarrassing error from Chris Katjiukua allowed Evidence Makgopa to nip in and put Baroka ahead minutes before half time.
The match returned to a similar pattern after the break but Leopards were definitely the more positive of the two sides as they sought an equaliser.
They hogged possession, finishing the match with nearly 60%, but continually struggled to break the home side down. The visitors created 13 chances but only managed to hit the target twice.
Despite the encounter being incredibly even throughout, the result was put beyond doubt in the 79th minute when Makgopa popped up again to complete his brace and double Baroka's advantage.
The second goal completely deflated the away side and any fight they showed to get back into the game vanished entirely, allowing Bakgakga to cruise home for a hard-fought 2-0 win.