Durban — Baroka FC gave their DSTV Premiership survival hopes a massive boost after recording a vital 1-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Baroka took the lead in the 30th minute as Bonginkosi Makume made no mistake in converting from the penalty spot.
Arrows looked to attack from the off. Nduduzo Sibiya and Velemseni Ndwandwe produced some good combination play. Sibiya ended up shooting but the experienced Baroka goalkeeper Jackson Mabokgwane was alert to the danger.
Relegation bound Baroka appeared to lack confidence in their attacking play and employed a high defensive line, looking to catch Arrows out on the counter. In the 15th minute, Siboniso Conco met a corner from Sibiya but his effort was saved by Mabokgwane.
Just prior to finding their goal, Baroka came very close to opening the scoring just before the half hour mark as Richard Mbulu went into the Arrows box, beating Ntsikelelo Nxadi and Arrows keeper Sifiso Mlungwana but his shot was just wide.
The best opportunity of the first half for Arrows came in the 38th minute as Nxadi saw his header cleared off the line.
Arrows would have felt that they should have been awarded a penalty early on in the second half after Saziso Magawane was downed in the box.
Baroka were clearly playing defensive football in a bid to protect their lead and Arrows found it difficult to break down their defence. Late in the second half Ndwandwe and Knox Mutizwa combined well.
Sibiya was fouled in that passage of play and Mutizwa hit the wall with his free-kick.
The result comes as a blow to Arrows as it leaves them outside the top eight. Had they won, they would have been in the top eight and been in line to qualify for next season’s MTN 8 tournament.
Both teams will next be in action on Saturday afternoon. Arrows travel to the Peter Mokaba Stadium for an away game against Marumo Gallants. Baroka travel to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to play against Chippa United.
Meanwhile Cape Town City’s race to finish second and qualify for the CAF Champions League suffered a blow as they were held to a goalless draw by Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.