Limpopo rivals open new season with derby clash

Limpopo rivals open new season with derby clash
Thapelo Tshilo of Polokwane City celebrate scoring a goal during the Absa Premiership 2016/17 game between Polokwane City and Kaizer Chiefs at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on 13 May 2017 ©/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 09:23

Limpopo provincial rivals Polokwane City and Baroka FC will open their 2017/18 Absa Premiership season with a derby clash at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium on 19 August 2017, kick-off at 15h00.

Polokwane enjoyed their best top flight season to date last term - despite parting ways with Luc Eymael in the latter half of the campaign - as they finished in an impressive sixth place.

Stand-in coach Bernard Molekwa has since been rewarded by being given the reins for the start of the new season, but he will be under pressure to ensure Rise and Shine remain capable of competing with the ‘big clubs’ in the PSL.

Baroka FC endured a tough debut season in the Absa Premiership, as they finished second from bottom on the log and had to win the three-way promotion playoff against Stellenbosch FC and Black Leopards to ensure they returned for the 2017/18 campaign.

Kgoloko Thobejane, who masterminded that playoff triumph, will remain in charge of the team and has been boosted by having MacDonald Makhubedu appointed as his assistant. Bakgaga have also been busy in the transfer market, bringing in the likes of Virgil Vries and Robin Ngalande to boost their squad.

Polokwane and Baroka have met in just two previous league matches, both of which took place last season. The teams drew 2-2 in the first half of the campaign (the home match for Baroka), while the return game (in which City were hosts) ended in a goalless stalemate.

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