Marumo Gallants emphatically claimed the bragging rights in their DStv Premiership Limpopo derby against Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Bahlabane ba Ntwa romped to a 3-0 win thanks to second-half goals from Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo (two) and Joseph Molangoane, with the result taking them a full eight points clear of the relegation zone and avenging a defeat at the hands of their provincial rivals from the first round of the current season. They have also made it three wins from as many outings since the turn of the year, having also beaten Santos in the Nedbank Cup and Chippa United in the league four days ago.
Bakgaga ba Mphahlele, who ended the game with 10 men, have now lost three league matches in succession and sit at the foot of the table, three points adrift of safety.
Gallants started well, with Miguel Timm controlling the rhythm in midfield, while the likes of Celimpilo Ngema and Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo had the freedom to express themselves creatively.
However, chances were hard to come by for the home side’s forwards, Sede Dion and Katlego Otladisa, with Baroka’s defence able to shield goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke through the first half hour of the match.
Bakgaga ba Mphahlele offered their own threat in attack, with Richard Mbulu and Evidence Makgopa providing a potent presence, though service to the front pair was neither high quality nor of a good quantity.
Baroka also blinked first in terms of changing personnel, with Thamsanqa Masiya coming off the bench a few minutes before halftime to replace Dan Ndlovu, while Bahlabane ba Ntwa continued to look the likelier scorers, with Otladisa and Ndlondlo both sending efforts narrowly off target in the dying stages before the interval.
Goalless at the break, the second stanza opened with the hosts winning a penalty within the first minute after the restart. Ndlondlo took on the responsibility of the spot kick and beat Masuluke from 12 yards to put Gallants 1-0 up.
Baroka’s hopes of a comeback were dealt a major blow just after the hour mark when combative midfielder Bernard Bobete – who had been booked in the first half – received a second caution and was red carded.
With a numerical advantage both on the scoreboard and the pitch, it was only a matter of time until Gallants pushed further ahead. A second goal duly arrived in the 67th minute, with Joseph Molangoane turning home an assist from Ngema to make it 2-0 and effectively seal the three points for the hosts.
Bahlabane ba Ntwa added a cherry on top in injury time when Otladisa provided an assist for Ndlondlo to score his second and wrap up the scoring at 3-0.
The teams will return to DStv Premiership action this coming weekend, with Baroka at home to TS Galaxy on Saturday afternoon, while Gallants will welcome Stellenbosch the following day.
Marumo Gallants (0) 3 (Ndlondlo 48’ pen, 90+2’, Molangoane 67’)
Baroka FC 0
Marumo Gallants:Ndlovu, Nkili (Sibeko 84’), Mvelase, Mabotja (Nhlapo 84’), Nonyane, Molangoane (Mnyamane 88’), Timm, Ndlondlo, Ngema, Otladisa, Dion (Khiba 68’)
Baroka:Masuluke, Mphahlele, Shozi, Farmer, Gebhardt, Sithole (Chauke 68’), Bobete, Dlala (Bombi 80’), Ndlovu (Masiya 40’), Mbulu (Kambala 68’), Makgopa (Monama 80’)