Golden Arrows struck a late goal to edge Baroka FC 1-0 in a Premiership clash played at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Wednesday evening.
Danny Venter headed a winner in the dying stages to see Abafana Bes’thende go fourth with 20 points, while Bakgaga are 12th with 12 points from as many matches.
Baroka started the match brightly, but it was Arrows who had the first shot in anger, with Knox Mutizwa picking up Divine Lunga’s low cross, beating one defender and then firing wide of the target in the eighth minute.
The home side remained a threat in attack and Arrows needed centre-back Nkosinathi Sibisi to make a couple of crucial goal-line clearances, while Baroka striker Prince Nxumalo gave notice of his potency with a rasping shot off-target on 17 minutes.
Bakgaga continued to look dangerous and nearly opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first half, with midfielder Goodman Mosele getting the better of Edmore Sibanda with a long-range shot only to see it rebound off the crossbar.
Arrows grew in confidence in the latter part of the first half, but the interval arrived with the scoreline still locked at 0-0.
The Durban side made a change at the start of the second half, swapping out Michael Gumede for Siboniso Conco, and had the first chance after the restart, with Mutizwa’s header from a corner kick brilliantly saved by Elvis Chipezeze.
Just after the hour mark Bakgaga earned a penalty, with Trevor Mathiane adjudged to have handled the ball in the 18-yard area. Vusi Sibiya stepped up to take the spot-kick, but he sent his effort wide of the target.
Both Baroka and Arrows continued to play with energy and attacking intent in what remained of the game, and it could have gone either way.
As it was, the visitors broke the deadlock in the 90th minute when Venter headed in the winning goal.
Abafana Bes’thende held off a desperate attempt at a fightback from Baroka in the dying minutes to seal all three points and continue their solid 2019/20 campaign.
The teams will return to Absa Premiership action this weekend.
Arrows will be away to Black Leopards in Thohoyandou on Saturday evening, while Baroka travel to Port Elizabeth to face Chippa United on Sunday.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo
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