Arrows fight back to claim 1-1 draw in Polokwane

Arrows fight back to claim 1-1 draw in Polokwane
Wayde Jooste of Golden Arrows challenged by Sipho Moeti of Baroka during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 match between Baroka FC and Golden Arrows at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa on 17 October 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 21:33

Golden Arrows fought back from a goal down to claim a 1-1 draw away to Absa Premiership leaders Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The result means both Bakgaga and Abafana Bes’thende retain their unbeaten records in the league this season, with the teams in first and second place on the log respectively.

The teams traded early half-chances before Baroka claimed the lead in the 15th minute: Gift Motupa pressured goalkeeper Nkosingiphile Gumede into a mistake on the edge of his own box and midfielder Sipho Moeti latched onto the loose ball to score with a first-time strike into the unguarded net.

Midway through the first half Gumede nearly cost his team another goal, with the gloves-man lucky that his indecisiveness wasn’t punished by Bakgaga, while just past the half hour mark Arrows needed Limbikani Mzava to clear an effort off his own goal line.

The final minutes of the first half saw Abafana Bes’thende throw numbers forward in search of an equaliser, but Baroka held firm to ensure they went into the break with their 1-0 lead intact.

After the interval, Arrows continued where they left off in the first half and created a couple of good chances for Kuda Mahachi, who first blazed a shot just wide in the 48th minute, and in the 50th he was denied by a sharp save from Virgil Vries.

On the hour mark, following an Arrows double substitution which saw the introduction of Jabulani Shongwe and Yusuf Jappie, the visitors carved out an opening for striker Lerato Lamola, who struck his shot just wide of the target.

A couple of minutes later Gumede redeemed himself with a fine save to palm away a goal-bound header from Shaku Olaleng and keep his side in the contest, while Siphelele Magubane soon headed wide at the other end.

Abafana Bes’thende even had an indirect free kick inside Baroka’s box after Vries handled a back-pass, but Jappie struck his effort from the set-piece wide of goal to once again let the home side’s defence off the hook.

However, Arrows’ equaliser finally arrived in the 75th minute: Shongwe provided a fine pass to give Magubane a sight of goal and the attacker finished with a low, left-footed shot into the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

Baroka will feel they should have won the game when they had the final clear chance in the 85th minute, but substitute Lucky Nguzana was superbly denied by Gumede, who made a one-handed save to ensure the game finished all square.

Baroka FC (1) 1 (Moeti 15’)
Golden Arrows (0) 1 (Magubane 75’)

Baroka: Vries, Mothupa, Shaku, Mdatsane, Masenamela, Banda, Madubanya, Moeti (Kgaswane 68’), Matloga (Sidumo 82’), Motupa, Macha (Nguzana 60’)

Arrows: Gumede, Dube, Mzava, Mngwengwe, Nkombelo, Bilankulu (Shongwe 58’), Cele, Magubane, Mahachi (Mutizwa 71’) , Jooste (Jappie 58’), Lamola

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