Baroka exploit defensive errors to beat Leopards in Limpopo derby
CAPE TOWN – Baroka FC ran out 2-0 winners against Black Leopards in their Absa Premiership clash at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Saturday afternoon.
Evidence Makgopa, Baroka's striker, scored a goal in each half in rather curious circumstances after he exploited errors in Leopards' central defence.
The result will be a bitter pill to swallow for Leopards who overshadowed their opponents in the second half of this Limpopo derby but could not make their efforts in front of goal count.
There was plenty of attacking intent on show from both sides straight from the kick-off and defences were kept on their toes.
Baroka were easily the more penetrative early on and in the opening 10 minutes, they made several sorties into the Leopards goalmouth where at least three scoring chances went a-begging.
It was much the same story when Leopards managed to reverse the flow of play, but they failed to make their efforts count with a display of terribly inept shooting in front of goal.
Baroka were let off the hook in the 37th minute when their defender Denwin Farmer tried to head a Leopards free-kick clear and the ball floated dangerously backwards, marginally past his goals.
Three minutes later there was a spot of good luck for Baroka when their striker Evidence Makgopa pounced on a back pass in Leopards' defence and his parting shot ricocheted off the left post into the goals (1-0).
It was a deserving advance given that Baroka had the better of the half as reflected by a superior 10-6 shots on goal count.
At the start of the second half, Baroka seemed to sit back and allowed Leopards to come at them. A slew of scoring chances emerged for Leopards but all too often they tried to walk the ball into the net. As a result, the Baroka defence lived a charmed life.
On the odd occasion, Leopards tried to fire from long range positions but continued to miss the target. Thabo Matlaba missed an easy to score when he rose above Baroka's defence in an aerial challenge plumb in front of goals, but his header flew over the crossbar.
By this time the second-half play was mostly in the Baroka half but still, Leopards couldn't make this overwhelming territorial advantage count.
Baroka launched a counter-attack in the 79th minute and Leopards should have dealt with it easily but another error in central defence saw Makgopa nip in to snatch a second goal (2-0).
In the end, Leopards paid a heavy price for defensive blunders and will remain rooted near the foot end of the Premiership log.
African News Agency (ANA)