Baroka rode their luck to earn a precious point against Mamelodi Sundowns after their DStv Premiership clash ended in a 1-1 draw at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Monday evening.
Lyle Lakay’s 49th-minute free-kick looked to have secured victory for the Brazilians, but Richard Mbulu stepped off the bench to clinch a share of the spoils for Kgoloko Thobejane’s side deep into stoppage time.
Bakgaga climbed out of the relegation zone up to 14th spot, although they are tied on 14 points with Swallows directly below them in the table, with TS Galaxy bringing up the rear.
The hosts had the first shot in anger, with Manuel Kambala lining up an effort from range that sailed well over the target on four minutes.
Sundowns went closer in the 11th minute when Themba Zwane linked up with Pavol Safranko, who pulled his shot just wide of the right post from outside the area.
Denwin Farmer then tested Denis Onyango on the quarter-hour mark as the visiting keeper got down to save the deflected strike.
The woodwork would come to Baroka’s rescue five minutes later when Lakay rattled the right post with a free-kick before the home team was presented with a chance to break the deadlock midway through the first half.
The referee pointed to the spot after Rushine De Reuck was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box. However, Basel Mphahlele fluffed his penalty, which cleared the goal as Downs were let off the hook.
Luck appeared to be on the side of the Limpopo outfit as Lakay was denied by the frame of the goal once more on 35 minutes, this time with a shot from range that came back off the crossbar.
The two clubs remained deadlocked at the break, but it took the visitors just four minutes to open the scoring after the restart. Lakay would not be denied on this occasion as he picked out the top-left corner of the net with a stunning free-kick.
Zwane nearly doubled their lead on 53 minutes, although his shot from a tight angle on the left flew just over the bar. De Reuck was next to threaten with a header that flashed wide of the right post from a 58th-minute corner.
Lakay was only inches away from notching his second of the evening as another one of his free-kicks cannoned against the bar on 67 minutes.
Bakgaga applied late pressure on the opposition goal with a number of long throw-ins, but Masandawana dealt with the danger. However, their efforts eventually paid off in the fifth minute of added time when Mbulu let loose from outside the area and the ball nestled in the top-left corner of the net.
Baroka (0) 1 (R.Mbulu 90+5’)
Sundowns (0) 1 (L.Lakay 49′)
BAROKA: E.Chipezeze, B.Mphahlele, V.Sibiya, D.Farmer, A.Gebhardt, M.Kambala, A.Dlala, S.Sithole, N.Mgaga (T.Masiya 66′), N.Bombi (D.Chauke 81′), E.Makgopa (R.Mbulu 66′).
SUNDOWNS: D.Onyango, B.Onyango, L.Lakay, R.De Reuck, K.Mudau, T.Mokoena (M.Mvala 61′), A.Jali, B.Ralani (L.Kapinga 61′), T.Zwane (G.Kekana 80′), P.Safranko (E.Saavedra 43′), P.Shalulile (N.Maema 79’).© Backpage TXT
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