POLOKWANE – A brace from Mohammed Anas at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon helped Polokwane City earn a 3-1 league win over struggling Baroka FC.
Anas scored in the 18th and 80th minutes, with Salulani Phiri getting Polokwane's other goal in the 53rd minute.
The home side, who had Bonginkosi Makume sent off 10 minutes into the second half, netted through Collins Makgaka in the 64th minute, and remain just one point above the relegation zone.
Bakgaga were unlucky not to take a 10th-minute lead when Mduduzi Mdatsane smashed a volley into the woodwork from 12-yards out.
That aside, the team in green battled to create opportunities in front of goal, and the next chance fell the way of Polokwane striker Phiri, whose 17th minute shot from just outside the box skidded inches wide of the right hand upright.
Just a minute later and Rise and Shine took the lead when Anas was given space in the box to control a corner kick before unleashing a superb volley into the top corner.
There were a couple of half chances for Bakgaga to restore parity, but Onkabetse Makgantai, Bonginkosi Makume and Mdatsane were unable to make it count.
Baroka started the second half with purpose but instead found themselves 2-0 down in the 53rd minute when Walter Musona's stinging drive from range was parried by goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze straight into the path of Phiri for a simple tap-in.
Things went from bad to worse a minute later when Makume received a straight red card he had body-checked a goal-bound Musona.
There was, however, still fight in the Baroka ranks and they were able to reduce the deficit in the 63rd minute when Makgaka ghosted past a couple of defenders on the edge of the box before squeezing in a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.
The game now wide open, both teams had chances to score before Anas did brilliantly to run on to a long ball 10 minutes before the end of regulation time, beating two defenders and then curling the ball into the far corner to seal the win and help his team move up to seventh spot on the standings.
African News Agency (ANA)