The crucial Absa Premiership relegation battle between Baroka FC and Chippa United ended 1-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams will feel the result does little for their hopes of moving away from the danger zone, though the Chilli Boys do move out of the relegation playoff berth and up to 14th, while Bakgaga remain in 13th.
The hosts generally enjoyed the better of a first half in which scoring chances were few and far between. Baroka controlled the midfield through the likes of Goodman Mosele and Mduduzi Mdantsane.
Baroka thought they had claimed the lead on 26 minutes when Collins Makgaga was able to beat Mbongeni Mzimela in the Chippa goal, but the midfielder was flagged for offside in a debatable decision.
Ten minutes later Chippa had their first real threat on goal in the game, with Rhulani Manzini sending a powerful shot on target, but Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze did well to keep the effort out.
The score was 0-0 at halftime, and the deadlock was nearly broken within seconds of the restart, as Chippa’s Tercious Malepe sent a left-footed shot on target and forced Chipezeze into another fine save.
Baroka gradually reasserted control and claimed the lead in the 70th minute. A well worked passing move around the Chippa penalty area ended with Matome Mabeba firing home a superb left-footed effort from the ‘D’ of the box.
Bakgaga’s advantage was short lived, with the Chilli Boys hitting back within seconds of conceding: an attack down the right ended with a cross being sliced into his own net by defender Bonginkosi Makume to make it 1-1.
Neither side was able to take control of the game and claim a winner in what remained, leaving them to settle for a share of the spoils.
Chippa will return to league action next Saturday with a match away to Free State Stars, while Baroka will be at home to Bloemfontein Celtic the following day.
Baroka FC (0) 1 (Mabeba 70’)
Chippa United (0) 1 (Makume og 71’)
Baroka: Chipezeze, Makume, Mongae, Mabeba, Chinyegetere (Sodi 53’), Makgaka, Sibiya, Semenya, Chivariro (Dickens 68’), Mdantsane
Chippa: Mzimela, Macheke, Nsabiyumva, Shitolo, Tlolane, Rakhale, Malepe (Malama 67’), Komane, Mbenyane (Gamildien 65’), Lentjies, R. Manzini (L. Manzini 81’)