JOHANNESBURG - Will it be a case of third-time lucky for Polokwane City when they host Baroka FC on Saturday? Rise and Shine have played their two Absa Premiership matches at “home” and lost them both, to Black Leopards and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Granted, the opening match against Leopards was away, but the clash was at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium that the club also use for their big matches. The two losses are actually an anomaly for Polokwane, who generally do well at a venue they’ve turned into a fortress of sorts.
That they survived relegation last season was largely due to their good home run, which saw none of the big teams that finished in the top three - Mamelodi Sundowns, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs - getting maximum points in the Limpopo capital.
Saturday’s derby, the maiden Woza Nazo game of the season, provides them with a chance to kickstart their campaign. Yet to score a goal, having lost 1-0 to Leopards and 2-0 to Sundowns, Polokwane are going to have to be much sharper in front of goal if they are to break their duck.
Their new coach Jozef Vukusic needs to start producing results before trigger-happy owner Johnny Mogaladi begins panicking. A history of this Limpopo derby, however, seems to suggest that success is unlikely.