Baroka edge unlucky Usuthu

AmaZulu FC were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Baroka FC in the DStv Premiership match at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

The result saw Usuthu remain second on the league log – seven points behind leaders, Mamelodi Sundowns, who have a game in hand.

Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele saw most of the ball in the opening exchanges with Usuthu defenders Mbongeni Gumede and Tapelo Xoki working hard at the back to keep the visitors at bay.

However, both teams began creating goalscoring opportunities after the half-hour mark and it was Baroka, who broke the deadlock through their Malawian centre forward Richard Mbulu.

Evidence Makgopa controlled a cross from the left very well, before setting up Mbulu, who scored with a wonderful curling shot to hand Baroka a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute.

Lehlohonolo Majoro then watched in disbelief as his effort was brilliantly saved by Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke in the 43rd minute as AmaZulu looked to level matters.

Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele came very close to doubling their lead on the stroke of half-time when Makgopa hit the upright and the score was 1-0 to Baroka at the interval.

Samkelo Mgwazela and Thabo Qalinge were both introduced by AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy prior to the start of the second-half as the hosts looked to level matters.

The hosts had a chance to level matters after Siyethemba Sithebe’s effort was blocked in the 54th minute, but Luvuyo Memela’s attempt was blocked by Masuluke.

Usuthu continued to push for the equalizing goal and they were frustrated by the Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele’s defence with Denwin Farmer and Bonginkosi Makume making vital clearances and interceptions.

Baroka head coach Matsimela Thoka made a change as he pulled out Gerald Phiri Jr and he introduced Joslin Kamatuka as the visitors looked to contain AmaZulu.

The last chance of the game fell for unmarked Thembela Sikhakhane, but the AmaZulu right-back failed to keep his header on target in stoppage time and the game ended in a 1-0 win in favour of Baroka.

AmaZulu (0) 0
Baroka (1) 1 (Mbulu 36′)

AmaZulu: Mothwa, Gumede (Qalinge 46′), Xoki, Sikhakhane, Mabiliso, Sithebe, Makhaula, Mlambo (Mgwazela 46′), Mulenga, Memela (Chawapiwa 72′), Majoro (Mthembu 72′).

Baroka: Masuluke, Kgoetyane, Farmer, Makume, Jampies, Gebhardt (Seema 89′), Phiri (Kamatuka 63′), Kambala, Mosele, Mbulu (Masiya 78′), Makgopa.

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