Baroka dominated the Limpopo derby on Tuesday night as they thrashed Black Leopards 3-1 at Thohoyandou Stadium in the DStv Premiership.
Bakgaga were off to a flying start as they surged ahead in only the second minute of the clash. A free kick from deep found Richard Mbulu who headed into an empty goal for 1-0, after goalkeeper King Ndlovu came forward without reaching the ball.
A great chance fell for the hosts again in the 14th minute when Ananias Gebhardt crossed brilliantly from the left wing, but Mbulu shinned his effort over from close range.
Gebhardt then had a chance of his own when Nhlanhla Mgaga crossed from the left. He rose high to head the ball and sent it over the bar.
Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze was called upon in the 28th minute when a cross was swung in and glanced on goal by Nyundu. The Zimbabwean gloveman made an athletic stop to his right to deny the hosts.
Leopards were agonisingly close to scoring when a cross came in from the left and deflected off a defender and onto the Baroka bar. The ball looked destined for goal but Mfanafuthi Shozi was on the line to make the crucial block.
The second goal seemed inevitable as Baroka continued enjoying the most attacking opportunities, and it arrived in the 33rd minute. A Mgaga corner kick from the left was swung in and Makgopa beat everyone to the ball to head home for a 2-0 lead to the visitors.
Shortly before the break Baroka bagged a third as Mbulu completed his brace with a diving header at the near post after Masiya whipped in a cross from the right flank.
Leopards had a decent shot on goal after the interval as Rodrick Kabwe drilled an effort from just inside the edge of the box. Chipezeze got down quickly to make the save.
Lidoda Duvha finally put a goal on the scoresheet on the hour mark. Substitute Donald Makgetlwa thumped a powerful low cross towards the far post and in an effort to make the clearance, Shozi accidentally deflected the ball into the back of his own goal instead.
However, the hosts' chances of mounting a comeback withered in the 72nd minute as they were reduced to 10 men. Tebogo Makobela made a lunging two-footed tackle from behind and was shown a straight red card for his efforts, leaving Leopards with a mountain to climb.
After a scintillating first hour of football, the Limpopo derby fizzled out in the end as Leopards struggled to create opportunities against a Baroka side content with their two-goal cushion.
- TEAMTalk media