Baroka FC triumph 4-2 in penalty shoot-out to dispose of Hungry Lions
CAPE TOWN – Absa Premiership strugglers Baroka FC emerged triumphant with a 4-2 penalty shoot-out count to eliminate Hungry Lions in their Nedbank Cup last 16 contest at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday after the teams were deadlocked at 2-all after extra time.
Twice during the match, Lions, who had travelled just over 900kms from Postmasburg in the Northern Cape to Polokwane, held the lead but in the end they fluffed their penalty attempts in the decisive shoot out.
Straight from the kick-off, Baroka took the game by the scruff of the neck but despite their early domination, they failed to score.
In the opening 12 minutes, Baroka had already managed two shots on goal and three corners in quick succession but the Kings defence, with Clinton Davids in goals, stubbornly held out.
Midfielder Mogau Khwinana had a 17th-minute chance to open Baroka's account but he blasted the ball over the crossbar from point-blank range. The scoring problem continued to manifest itself in ensuing play when two Baroka efforts were held out by the woodwork.
Lions managed to shake off Baroka's vice-like grip on the match and started attacks down the middle of the park. One such attack in the 33rd minute led to a free-kick just outside the Baroka penalty area. Rudiger Gilbert's attempt deflected off Sbonelo Ngubane's head and into the goals. Ironically, it was Ngubane's foul that earned Lions the free-kick (1-0).
Baroka had more chances to score as the halftime break dawned. However, they could have been another goal down had Lions' Thulani Nkosi not fluffed an easy chance when Baroka's defence was in disarray and unable to clear a low goalmouth cross from the left.
Three minutes into second-half play, Baroka finally opened their account when debutant Evidence Makgopa scored when he steered a goalmouth cross past the outstretched hands of Davids (1-1).
Baroka was not able to build on this morale-boosting goal as Lions, the ABC Motsepe League outfit, started to raise their game and matched their PSL opposition in all facets of play. However, they often lost their way in the final third.
In the 65th minute, Gerald Phiri, Baroka's Malawian international struck the upright from a free-kick on the 'D' in front of Lions' goals.
Ten minutes later, Baroka spurned another chance when substitute Kagiso Selemela shot straight at Davids from point-blank range.
Lions gaining in confidence after these let-offs and probed Baroka's defences down the right channel. Although they often made headway into the opposition penalty area, no real chances emerged.
Baroka finished the stronger of the two teams and even forced a corner four minutes ahead of the end of regulation time but were unable to prevent the contest from going into extra time.
Two minutes into extra time, Lions captain Maedwa Tau rose high to meet goalmouth cross but his header went wide of the target as he was challenged by Baroka keeper Ayanda Dlamini, who subsequently needed first-aid attention.
Two minutes later, Lions took the lead for the second time in the match when Baroka defender Ethen Sampson turned the ball into his own net as he tried to clear Thulani Nkosi's cross (2-1).
The contest was back on level terms eight minutes later when Mozambican Manuel Kambala snatched the equaliser. Kambala's shot from the edge of the penalty area took a deflection and then an awkward bounce saw the ball skid past Davids (2-2).
The second period of extra time was completed without further score and the dreaded penalty shoot-out followed after Baroka had twice managed to come from behind to force the stalemate.
African News Agency (ANA)