Kaizer Chiefs played out a 1-1 draw against Baroka at the Peter Mokaba Stadium as Amakhosi extended their unbeaten run in league games to five matches. Chiefs took the lead through Lebogang Manyama after a well-worked move which culminated in the midfielder putting Chiefs ahead in the 58th minute. With nine minutes to go, Evidence Makgopa leveled for the hosts as Chiefs were pegged back in their race to climb into the top eight.
The game was a very physical one and the tone was set in the opening quarter as Chiefs striker Samir Nurković and Baroka keeper Oscarine Masuluke were involved in a number of tussles. The Chief’s attacker collided with the keeper as he attacked balls from the right and left-wing.
The first major talking point though came in the 10th minute. Samir Nurković slalomed his way into the Baroka 18-yard area and managed to eventually push the ball past Baroka skipper Vusi Sibiya, who then hacked down the Chiefs attacker, and with Amakhosi expecting a penalty, referee Velaphi Sicelo allowed the game to go on.
Chiefs launched an attack in the 23rd minute from deep in their own half which culminated with Khama Billiat gently rolling the ball around the back of the Baroka defense where he picked out Nurković inside the right edge of the Baroka 18-yard area. Nurković went for a goal from a tight angle and had Masuluke at full stretch to get a leg onto the ball to clear it away. Chiefs had a scare at goal in the 25th minute but Siyabonga Ngezana managed to get in the way of a dangerous-looking cross from Thamsanqa Masiya, as he flicked the ball away with his head to avert the danger.
The first half produced drama aplenty but neither team was able to create a bevy of goalscoring opportunities, with both defenses standing firm as the teams went into the break level at 0-0.
Early on in the second half Erick Mathoho made two timely interceptions – the second in the 52nd minute saw him cut out a dangerous-looking ball from the right by Richard Mbulu, who was proving a handful with his strong runs down the right flank.
Chief switched play from the right-wing quickly in the 58th minute with Njabulo Blom playing it to Nkosingiphile Ngcobo. He managed to play it to his left finding Manyama, who in turn played a quick one-two with Billiat. He sent the ball forward with a delicate back heel to Manyama, as he evaded Mashweu Mphahlele and Bonginkosi Makume before rounding Masuluke and drilling the ball home from close range with the keeper well beaten to put Chiefs 1-0 up.
Itumeleng Khune tested for the first time in the game in the 76th minute did well to jump off the ground and acrobatically pushed away a viciously curling free-kick from the right by Tshediso Patjie. The Chief’s keeper did well to track the flight of the ball and sent it flying away with a one-handed punch away.
Baroka found an equalizer in the 81st minute. Substitute Joslin Kamatuka sent in a cross from the right which seemed to take a deflection which saw it bounce awkwardly for Daniel Cardoso and instead fell to Makgopa who drilled the ball wide of Khune to make the score 1-1.
Deep into the referee’s added time at the end of the second half, the Chiefs had one final opportunity to have taken all three points. Lazalous Kambole did well to keep the ball in as he went sliding in to preventing it from going out. The ball eventually reached Billiat who from close range tried to beat Masuluke at his near post, but the Baroka keeper was able to jump up and block the ball as the game ended 1-1.