|Maboke Matlakala © Gallo Images
Maboke Matlakala’s brace handed Baroka FC the full three points as they beat Free State Stars 2-1 in their Absa Premiership encounter at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium on Tuesday night.
The victory took the Limpopo-based side to the 15th spot on the log table with 21 points from 23 matches in their 2016/17 Premier Soccer League campaign.
For Stars, striker Mohammed Anas netted their only goal as they failed to ease their relegation concerns.
Ea Lla Koto nearly caught the hosts napping as early as the first minute when Rooi Mahamutsa took a shot after a corner, but goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke safely gathered the ball.
Despite their efforts to control their proceedings, Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele could not penetrate their visitors in the first 10 minutes.
However, in the 20th minute, Mxolisi Kunene delivered a dangerous corner kick and Siphelele Zikalala nearly beat Stars’ keeper Thela Ngobeni as his effort went inches wide.
Ngobeni was the busiest of the two goalkeepers when he was called to action by Kunene in the 37th minute and he was equal to the task, collecting the effort with ease.
Three minutes later, Milton Dlamini’s men broke the deadlock through Matlakala when he produced a brilliant left footed finish following a great assist by Punch Masenamela.
After heading to the tunnel 1-0 down, Serame Letsoaka’s men came back with renewed energy as Thamsanqa Teyise unleashed a shot, but Masuluke saved his effort.
Stars kept pressure on their PSL newcomers and their efforts were rewarded in the 59th minute when Anas netted from a fine finish to beat Masuluke, 1-1.
However, with 19 minutes to go, Baroka doubled their lead through Matlakala’s brace as he headed home from close range after an assist from Richard Matloga.
With time running against the Bethlehem-based side, Goodman Dlamini saw his effort going wide to the left of Masuluke’s posts in the last four minutes.
In the end, the hosts managed to hold on to their deserved win, bagging the fourththree-pointer of their season.
The loss for the visiting side leaves them sitting at the 14th spot with 22 points from 21 matches in their campaign.
Baroka FC (1) 2 (Matlakala 40′, 71′)
Free State Stars (0) 1 (Anas62′)
Baroka FC: Masuluke, Mapetho, Matloga (Garcia 80′), Shaku, Madubanya, Mahashe, Letsoalo (Munetsi 51), Masenamela, Zikalala, Kunene (Chauke 90′), Matlakala
Free State Stars: Ngobeni, Mbhele, Thlone, Teyise, Mahamutsa, Vilakazi, Jantjie, Dlamini, Masehe, Sekola, Anas (Maphakisa 82′)
This article was sourced from the PSL website.