POLOKWANE – It was a frustrating night for Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday after they dominated their Absa Premiership encounter against Free State Stars but had to settle for a 0-0 draw.
The result lifted Ea Lla Koto, who beat Highlands Park last weekend, up into the top eight, while Baroka move out of the drop zone and into 14th place, at the expense of Chippa United.
The Limpopo team were on top throughout the first half, but despite creating numerous chances, they failed to put the visitors' defence under much pressure with only two of 10 attempts on target.
With a minute played, the hosts came within a few inches of scoring when Onkebetse Makgantai's lobbed effort went just the wrong side of the upright.
Baroka were also to have a good shout for a penalty turned down after Mpho Kgaswane appeared to have been fouled in the box by Goodman Dlamini.
Stars' best and only real chance of the opening half came after 11 minutes, Dlamini flashing a shot marginally wide after a knock-down from Eleazar Rodgers.
It took a superb save from Stars keeper Badra Sangara to stop Baroka going in front on 25 minutes after Ranga Chivaviro had cut in from the left flank and curled a low shot towards the far post.
Chivaviro was in the thick of the action soon after when he narrowly failed to get a touch on the ball five yards out, before his team-mate Onkabetse Makgantai headed wide with the goal at his mercy.
Makgantai was to have another great chance, 10 minutes into the second half, but after combining nicely with Chivaviro, he steered his parting shot over the crossbar.
The pressure continued to come from the home team as Mduduzi Mdatsane fired a well-struck shot straight at Sangare, with several other efforts going off target.
Baroka could have snatched an 85th-minute winner when the ball fell kindly for Jemondre Dickens in the box, but the debutant directed a header from 10-yards out against the bar in what was to be the last real opportunity of a frustrating evening for Wedson Nyirenda's men.
African News Agency (ANA)