Orlando Pirates came from behind to defeat Baroka FC 2-1 in the DStv Premiership match at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening.
The win took the Buccaneers to third place on the league standings, while Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele slipped down to 10th place with a game left for both teams.
Bakgaga Mphahlele started the match brightly and they created two good goalscoring opportunities after pressing the Bucs’ defence in the first 15 minutes of the match.
Evidence Makgopa was denied by goalkeeper Wayne Sandilands from a one-on-one situation, before an unmarked Manuel Kambala volleyed the ball over the crossbar from inside the box.
Pirates grew in confidence as the match progressed and they had a chance to score through an unmarked Thembinkosi Lorch in the 25th minute, but he opted to pass the ball and Baroka cleared their lines.
It was Baroka, who broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime as Ntsikelelo Nyauza’s clearance fell kindly for Denwin Farmer and the defender scored with a volleyed effort to hand Baroka a 1-0 lead.
However, Baroka went to sleep at the other end and they conceded as Frank Mhango’s free-kick beat keeper Oscarine Masuluke at the near-post in stoppage time of halftime and the score was 1-1 at the interval.
The Buccaneers dominated the game after the restart with Mhango causing havoc to the Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele defence and he had two good chances to hand the visitors the lead.
The Malawi international was denied by Masuluke from a one-on-one situation in the 51st minute, before unleashing a curling shot that narrowly missed the upright three minutes before the hour-mark.
However, the hosts did not sit back as they surged forward and Makgopa’s two efforts were blocked on the goal-line by Siphesihle Ndlovu and Sandilands in quick succession in the 67th minute.
Both teams pushed for the winning goal in the closing proceedings of the game as Farmer’s header was well-saved by Sandilands with 12 minutes left on the clock.
At the other end, Mhango missed a sitter as failed to tap the ball into an empty net in the 82nd minute after connecting with Wayde Jooste’s low cross with nine minutes left.
Mhango was then replaced by Terrence Dzvukamanja, who proved to be a super-sub as the Zimbabwe international scored with a header in the 88th minute to seal Pirates’ 2-1 win over Baroka.
Baroka (1) 1 (Farmer 45′)
Pirates (1) 2 (Mhango 45’+2, Dzvukamanja 88′)
Baroka: Masuluke, Kgoetyane, Gebhardt, Farmer, Jampies, Makume, Mbulu (Kamatuka 46′), Mosele, Mgaga, Kambala, Makgopa.
Pirates: Sandilands, Jele, Nyauza, Maela (Mako 73′), Jooste, Ndlovu, Motshwari (Makaringe 37′), Lorch (Hlatshwayo 90′), Pule, Mhango (Dzvukamanja 86′), Hotto (Dlamini 86′).