Benni McCarthy’s AmaZulu title hopes dashed after Baroka loss
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DURBAN - Richard Mbulu’s 37th-minute goal consigned AmaZulu to their first competitive defeat since February as Usuthu fell to a 1-0 loss against Baroka FC at the King Zwelethini Stadium. The result also marked AmaZulu’s first league defeat since they lost to Kaizer Chiefs in January.
Bakgaga’s goal came against the run of play with Evidence Makgopa first producing a dummy before finding Mbulu who cut in from the inside and fired in a shot which sailed beyond AmaZulu keeper Veli Mothwa.
Baroka showed confidence against their second-place opponents and had their first shot as early as the third minute as Makgopa capitalized following a defensive error from Mbongeni Gumede, though the 20-year-old striker ended up failing to take advantage of the opportunity given to him.
After meeting a pass from Siyethemba Sithebe in the 43rd minute, Lehlohonolo Majoro struck for goal and forced a brilliant save from Baroka keeper Oscarine Masuluke.
AmaZulu were fortunate to not have conceded a second goal as a long ball ended up finding Makgopa on the stroke of half-time before the forward’s shot at goal hit the post.
The result virtually kills off whatever slim hopes Benni McCarthy’s troops had of winning the league this season.
Usuthu failed to emulate the type of play they have shown since McCarthy was appointed as their coach as they uncharacteristically misplaced passes with mid-table Baroka looking like the better side for most of the game.