Baroka FC snapped their four-match winless run in the DStv Premiership when they defeated TS Galaxy 1-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the win, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele remained 16th on the league standings, but they are now level points with 15th-placed Galaxy as the battle to avoid relegation to the GladAfrica Championship continues.
Baroka exerted pressure on the Rockets who were forced to give away several set-pieces as the hosts looked to break the deadlock and they did open the scoring 14 minutes into the game.
Sekela Sithole delivered a quality effort from a corner-kick which was headed home by Sbonelo Ngubane – beating goalkeeper Wensten van der Linde hands down to make it 1-0 to Baroka after Galaxy’s poor marking was exposed.
The Rockets tried to respond with a goal, but Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele stood firm at the back with Phelelani Shozi and Denwin Farmer looking rock-solid at the heart of the home side’s defence. Baroka were leading 1-0 at the interval.
The hosts surged forward after the restart as they looked to take advantage of their numerical advantage over the visitors, who had introduced Paraguayan defender Carlos Fabian Leon.
However, the Rockets bravely launched attacks and Augustine Chidi Kwem had a chance to level matters just after the hour-mark, but the Nigerian centre forward was superbly denied by goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.
With the Galaxy defence looking solid and compact, Baroka coach Kgoloko Thobejane pulled out defender Bonginkosi Makume and introduced attacker Decide Chauke with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Both teams launched late attacks, but neither side was able to score in the closing stages of the encounter and ultimately Baroka emerged 1-0 winners on the day.
Baroka (1) 1 (Ngubane 14′)
Baroka: Masuluke, Mphahlele, Shozi, Farmer, Ngubane, Kambala, Makume, Sithole (Dlala 77′), Monama (Goldstone 85′), Masiya (Gebhardt 90’+2), Makgopa.
Galaxy: Van Der Linde, Sanoka, M. Mahlangu (Leon 46′), Msimango, Mere, Roberts (Brooks 62′), Aubaas, Hlongwane (S. Mahlangu 77′), Mongae (Lekay 77′), Teto (Mngomezulu 77′), Kwem.