TS Galaxy ended their wait for a first win of the DStv Premiership season when they defeated Baroka FC 2-1 at the Mbombela Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Goals from Sipho Mngomezulu and Menzi Ndwandwe – the latter’s in injury time at the end of the game – secured a first three-pointer of 2021-22 for the Rockets and lifted them off the foot of the table.
Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele, meanwhile, suffered a fifth defeat and are just two points above their vanquishers, who sit second from bottom.
Galaxy offered the first threat of a goal, with a sixth-minute Ebrahim Seedat free kick causing trouble for the visitors’ defence before ending at the feet of Mxolisi Machupu, who saw his rasping shot well saved by Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze.
Three minutes later the Rockets had another chance to claim an early lead, with Lindokuhle Mbatha forcing a mistake that led to an opening for Tshegofatso Nyama, but he too was denied by Chipezeze.
All the momentum seemed to be with the hosts, but Baroka claimed the lead on 18 minutes through Evidence Makgopa. The Bafana Bafana striker headed an effort past goalkeeper Vasilije Kolak after meeting a cross from right-back Basil Mphahlele.
Just past the midway point of the first half Galaxy should have brought themselves level, but Nyama shot over the crossbar after being presented with another great scoring opportunity.
However, the home side kept plugging away and were rewarded with a penalty late in the first half. Sipho Mngomezulu tucked home the spot kick – which was earned by Nyama – on 41 minutes to see the teams locked at 1-1 heading into the interval.
Galaxy carried the momentum of their equaliser into the second half, but they found Chipezeze in great form: the ‘keeper made a string of stops to deny Mngomezulu, Nyama and Ethan Brooks in the quarter hour after the restart.
Baroka were able to withstand the pressure from their hosts and gradually regained a foothold, even threatening a goal of their own late in the game when Kolak had to make an excellent save to deny Bayzel Goldstone.
A draw seemed the inevitable outcome until the second minute of injury time when substitute Menzi Ndwandwe was able to complete a fine turn and shot to finally put another effort beyond Chipezeze and secure an elusive victory for Galaxy.
The teams will be back in DStv Premiership action this weekend, with Galaxy away to SuperSport United on Friday 5 November and Baroka visiting Royal AM on Sunday 7 November.
TS Galaxy (1) 2 (Mngomezulu 41’, Ndwandwe 90+2’)
Baroka FC (1) 1 (Makgopa 18’)
Galaxy: Kolak, Munyai, Makitan, Seedat, Aubaas, Nduli (Mbunjana 73’), Brooks, Mbatha, Mngomezulu (Phohlongo 73’), Nyama, Machupu (Ndwandwe 68’)
Baroka: Chipezeze, Mphahlele, Sibiya, Shozi, Farmer, Sithole (Mbulu 61’), Kambala, Dlala (Bobete 70’), Mokhabi, Goldstone, Makgopa