Baroka nearly pull off double over Pirates

Linda Mntambo of Orlando Pirates feels the pressure from Baroka's Goodman Mosele during their Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium last night.
Linda Mntambo of Orlando Pirates feels the pressure from Baroka's Goodman Mosele during their Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium last night.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Baroka came here to frustrate Orlando Pirates and were seven minutes away from taking all three points to Limpopo, but settled for a draw with the hosts finding an equaliser to finish 1-1.

Matome Mabeba put Bakgaga ahead with a stunning free kick that had the beating of Jackson Mabokgwane in the 12th minute, but Vincent Pule saved Pirates's blushes with a late equaliser.

This is the same side that beat the Buccaneers on penalties in the Telkom Knockout final in Port Elizabeth last month and billed as an opportunity for revenge for Micho Sredojevic's men, Pirates were expected to get a win. It wasn't to be, though.

After taking the lead, Baroka resorted to time wasting from there that not only got the Pirates supporters constantly putting pressure on referee Abongile Tom to stop the antics, but the home side's players too appeared to grow frustrated and it affected their game.

Baroka keeper Elvis Chipezeze was down a few times with the plan being to kill off Pirates's momentum and at times, one Baroka player would go down and another would follow without much contact.

But credit also to Baroka for their defensive work. Except for Justin Shonga firing wide just two minutes in, there was little to write home about in terms of Pirates creating chances.

Led by captain Thabiso Semenya, Baroka parked the bus after their early goal and kept Pirates at bay.

Perhaps Sredojevic's decision to bench Thembinkosi Lorch was a bad move in hindsight. He started with Paseka Mako and Pule wide, but they struggled to get going.

Mako however was at the end named man of the match.

Early in the second half, Shonga came close after a brilliant first touch, but his left-footed strike failed to hit the target. With Pirates coming in numbers, Chipezeze was down again in the 58th minute and took a couple of minutes, claiming a struggle with cramps.

Sredojevic took out defenders Mthokozisi Dube and Happy Jele as well as midefielder Ben Motshwari to introduce attacking players Thembinkosi Lorch, Thamsanqa Gabuza and Kudakwashe Mahachi in search of an equaliser, which eventually came through Pule with seven minutes remaining.

With all the time stoppage, the match ended after 105 minutes.

Pirates remain second and two points behind log leaders Bidvest Wits, who are on 34 after 18 matches.

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