Baroka FC returned to winning form in the DStv Premiership by defeating Sekhukhune United 1-0 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday evening.
A first-half strike from Evidence Makgopa secured the three points for Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele, who move into fifth place on the log, while BabinaNoko suffered their second defeat and find themselves in seventh.
Baroka threatened early on, with Ananias Gebhardt shooting from long range in the second minute and forcing a good save from Sekhukhune goalkeeper Toaster Nsabata.
At the other end of the field, BabinaNoko had a half-chance for Blessing Sarupinda just before the half-hour mark, but the hosts did well to only concede a corner kick.
However, the set piece brought a blow of a different kind, as goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke picked up an injury and was forced out of the game, with Elvis Chipezeze replacing him.
Bakgaga built some attacking pressure later in the first half and were rewarded on 42 minutes, as striker Evidence Makgopa found the back of the net with a powerful shot to see the hosts head into the interval 1-0 up.
Sekhukhune made a double change at the start of the second half, with Sibusiso Hlubi and Nkanyiso Madonsela coming off the bench, while striker Chibuike Ohizu struck an effort just wide in the early minutes after the restart.
The second half was all about Sekhukhune searching for a way back into the game, but they were left frustrated by Baroka’s resilient defence.
Their best chances to find an equaliser went the way of Justice Chabalala and substitute Charlton Mashumba in the 75th and 81st minutes respectively, but neither found the target.
This left Bakgaga to celebrate a second victory of the season and a rise into the top five of the standings.
The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action next Saturday, 25 September, with Sekhukhune at home to Golden Arrows and Baroka visiting AmaZulu.
Baroka FC (1) 1 (Makgopa 42’)
Sekhukhune United 0
Baroka:Masuluke (Chipezeze 29’), Makume, Sibiya, Farmer, Gebhardt, Goldstone (Dlala 86’), Kambala, Kamatuka, Mbulu, Phiri (Mphahlele 68’), Makgopa
Sekhukhune United:Nsabata, Ledwaba, Gyimah, Chabalala, Jampies, Mncube (Nxumalo 62’), Matona (Mobbie 62’), Maart, Sarupinda (Madonsela 46’), Patjie (Hlubi 46’), Ohizu (Mashumba 70’)
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