Baroka too wise for Birds

By Sports Focus Reporter

The Limpopo Vodacom outfit, Baroka FC, caused the biggest upset of the weekend when they beat PSL side Moroka Swallows 2-1 in the last 16 of the Nedbank Cup match played at Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

 

Thanks to second half goals by Katlego Mashego and Mashilo Moremi, while Swallows got their consolation goal from the boot of Augustine Leonard.

Swallows coach, Gordon Ingesund, made only three changes to his second string team that beat Maritzburg United 3-0 in the first round of the cup competition and it was obvious that he rested his trusted players for their much awaited tough league encounter against Orlando Pirates on Wednesday night.

The match started at a blistering pace with action swinging from one end to the other, but Baroka FC showed little respect by taking the battle straight to Swallows.

The home side, from rural GaMphahlele, near Lebowakgomo, relied on a quick passing game and used the width of the pitch in their bid to unlock the Swallows defense, while the Birds used a quick counter-attack trying to catch the home side’s defense off guard.

Baroka FC’s top goal-scorer, Thobani Mncwango, was a constant threat for the Swallows defense. The Vodacom outfit’s striker was the first to ask Swallows questions, but his shots in the second and seventh minute went wide before his header went over the bar in the 11th minute.

Baroka’s Msimeli Baloyi missed the best chance to grab the opener in the 32nd minute when he failed to connect a cross from the right- flank with a gaping net in front of him.

There was no score at half time.

After the break, Baroka FC continued were they left off in the first half and were duly rewarded when a defense splitting pass from Khunadi Nkoana saw Katlego Mashego beat an off side trap before slotting the ball past the diving Aubrey Mathibe to put his side in the driving seat in the 47th minute.

Mncwango had a chance to score his side’s second goal, but the latter directed his shot wide in the 65th minute.

In the interim, Swallows pushed forward in numbers in their bid to find an equalizer but keeper Avhashoni Tshinuna stood firm and did well in the 70th minute to deny Igor Alves what looked like a sure goal.

Swallows’ efforts were rewarded when Augustine Leonard took responsibility, beating Tshinuna with a bullet like shot that left the Baroka FC goal-minder with the formality of picking up the ball out of the back of the net in the 73rd minute.

However, Swallows’ celebrations were short-lived when substitute, Mashilo Moremi who replaced Sam Ndlovu in the 77th minute followed up on a rebound to score his side’s second goal with his first touch of the game to send the stadium into frenzy in the 79th minute and wrap up the game for his team.

Teams:

Baroka FC: 4-4-2: Tshinuna, Mbhele, Mahatsweleng, Shaku, Thomo, Lantshene, Nkoana, Mashego, Baloyi (Ramatjela 90th) Mncwango, Ndlovu. (Moremi 77th)

Moroka Swallows: 4-4-2: Mathibe, Kobola, Ferland, Shivambu, Mkhatshane, Ramokala, (Skosana) Shumana, (Alves 54th) Khumalo, Zuma, Leonard

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