by TINTSWALO BALOYI
POLOKWANE – IT’S official – Baroka FC will be battling out with premiership season campaigners Orlando Pirates in the Telkom Knock-Out final at Port Elizabeth next week.
This follows Baroka’s narrow 1-0 victory over Bidvest Wits in a thrilling Telkom semi final played at Peter Mokoba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday.
A solitary strike by Matome Mabeba from a free-kick outside Bidvest Wits 18 yard box in the 8th minute was all Baroka FC needed to upset their highly fancied Johannesburg based premiership side to progress into the final.
Putting icing on the cake was Baroka FC striker Talent Chawapiwa, who was voted Telkom man of the match while acrobatic goalkeeper Zimbabwe goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze gave no chance to marauding Bidvest strikers.
Zambian coach Wedson Nyirenda made history by guiding Baroka FC into their first ever cup final thereby bringing jubilation to thousands of Limpopo province residents.
The timely victory is also expected to open floodgates of sponsorship for Baroka FC while unlocking business opportunities to the Limpopo provincial capital – Polokwane.
Had it not been for fluffing two easy scoring chances created by Chawapiwa, Baroka could have won the match 3-0.
Bidvest Wits tried to turn around their fortunes in the last 10 minutes, but strikers Terrence Dzvukamanja, Gift Motupa and Haashim Domingo failed to get the much needed support upfront from their midfielders.
However, the victory by Baroka FC tore apart the football history form book by making Bakgaga the first Limpopo premiership club to reach final.
A thrilled Baroka FC Chief Executive Officer Morgan Mammilla praised his charges for bringing joy – not only to the club, but to the entire Limpopo province.
In another Telkom semi final played on Saturday, Orlando Pirates beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 to book ticket to the Telkom final against Baroka FC.
Chipezeze, Semenya, Gebhardt, Makume, Mdantsane, Mabeba, Mosele, Sodi, Dickens (Chivaviro 65′), Chawapiwa, Sibiya.
Keet, Mere, Hlatshwayo, Mkhwanazi, Nonyane, Monare (Hlanti 71′), Alexander, Domingo, Hotto (Motupa 46′), Dzvukamanja, Macuphu (Murray 65′)
– CAJ News