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Visiting Citizens held by Baroka FC

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Cape Town City dropped two crucial points thanks to a 1-1 draw against Baroka FC at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday.

Mdantsane Mduduzi of Cape Town City is challenged by Goodman Mosele of Baroka during their DStv Premiership match at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Cape Town City remained fifth on the DStv Premiership standings after being held to a 1-1 draw by Baroka FC at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The two points the Citizens dropped in the last 15 minutes of the game through an unfortunate error in defence ensured that they are on 23 points, a whopping 10 behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns who defeated Chippa United 2-0 in Tshwane.

But for Baroka, though, their winless run continued to three matches – after three successive draws – as they remained top of the bottom half of the standings with 17 points, one behind the eighth placed Kaizer Chiefs and eight ahead of rock-bottom neighbours Black Leopards.

Fresh from an impressive win over Golden Arrows, City were infused with the rights mentality to walk away as victors this afternoon. But they suffered a big blow from the outset after talisman Thabo Nodada had to be stretched off after a head collision with Goodman Mosele.

Enter Mpho Makola. The former Orlando Pirates midfielder was assigned to play behind Justin Shonga and Fragie Lakay – a link between the engine room and attack. But with Baroka also pressing from the middle, there was relatively inferior supply for the visitors up front.

Such that Shonga and Lakay had to fall back and collect balls from the engine room. But despite playing slightly out of position, having also had to assist in defence, Makola was City’s livewire in a first half that was played at a slow pace.

The 34-year-old footballer nearly found City’s breakthrough midway through the stanza after being teed up with a cut-back pass from Mduduzi Mdantsane who was near the by-line. But his pin-point shot from the D-Line drew out a brilliant save from goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke.

Makola, though, finally made his contribution count in the second half. Against the run of play, Makola found Bradley Ralani in front of Baroka reaguard before the latter teed-up a wide Mdantsane who played a quick one-two with Ralani with a cheeky backheel.

Ralani did well to bypass his markers before picking up his spot to pass the ball into the net from close-range. Soon thereafter, City nearly doubled their lead after an inviting goal towards the face of Baroka’s goal but Lakay failed to connect well, allowing Masuluke to collect with ease.

The Citizens totally dominated possession and chances heading to the end. Such that they were nearly gifted the double by Masuluke who almost parried the high-flying long-range set-piece from Makola into his own net.

But in the end, Bakgakga were the fortunate of the two teams after managing to snatch a point from an own goal. Striker Richard Mbulu controlled and turned delightfully inside City’s box before unleashing a shot that came off the leg of Terrence Mashego to deflect into his own net.

@Mihlalibaleka