Home Sport Richards Bay grab vital point in Baroka FC’s backyard

Richards Bay grab vital point in Baroka FC’s backyard

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Baroka FC interim coach Morgan Mammila – leading the side for the first time after taking over from the suspended Dan Malesela – faces a tough road ahead, with every match now elevated to a must-win encounter.

Somila Ntsundwana (right) of Richards Bay, seen here holding off Baroka FC’s Boy John Madingwana, was unable to convert a first-half goal-scoring chance. Photo: BackpagePix

Obakeng Meletse

Baroka FC failed to capitalise on home-ground advantage as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Richards Bay in a PSL promotion-relegation play-off at the Global Stadium in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo on Saturday.

The draw leaves the KZN side in pole position to retain their PSL status with two games to be played.

Richards Bay are now on four points, followed by the University of Pretoria on three and Baroka on one.

Baroka interim coach Morgan Mammila – leading the side for the first time after taking over from the suspended Dan Malesela – faces a tough road ahead, with every match now elevated to a must-win encounter, with a spot back in the PSL slowly slipping away.

Needing to adjust quickly to tricky and bumpy Global Stadium conditions, the Natal Rich Boyz lived up to their reputation and were once again solid as they walked away with a point for their troubles, to back up their 1-0 win earlier in the week against the University of Pretoria.

The visitors threw a few jabs in the first half, with a couple of chances in between. A 28th-minute error by Tshepho Mashiloane allowed Somila Ntsundwana through on goal, leaving Baroka’s defence scrambling back to snuff out the imminent danger.

Ntsundwana had the near post of Katlego Molefe to beat, but could only find the boot of Baroka’s goalkeeper.

The visitors’ first shot on target was a clear reminder for the home side to get their house in order or see their potential return to top-flight football pulling further away.

Just like a wounded animal backed up in a corner with not many options but to fight for survival, Baroka began to take charge of the match, with everything but just the final pass lacking to complete their new-found momentum.

The home side had a lot of intent and purpose, and a 12th man behind them loud in song, and for most of the match, they seemed like they were well in tune.

But with every minute ticking by, their desperation was getting strikingly evident, without too much of a threat to Salim Magoola’s goal.

Bakgaga ba ga Mphahlele began the second half as they ended the first, with the home side on top, but their rush when in possession saw them failing to create any clear-cut chances.

As a result, Baroka’s tough start continues as they have failed to collect a point or score a goal in the play-offs.

Another home encounter against AmaTuks follows on Wednesday, and nothing but maximum points will be required for Baroka to keep their promotion chances alive.

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