Baroka advanced to the Telkom Knockout final after claiming a shock 1-0 win over Bidvest Wits at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
Bakgaga made their way into the semi-final after securing a comfortable 2-0 victory over Golden Arrows in the quarter-final at the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Clever Boys came into the last four after claiming a 2-1 victory over Maritzburg United in their quarter-final clash at the Harry Gwala Stadium.
The two sides have met once before in the Telkom Knockout competition, with Wits coming out victors in last seasons quarter-final when they claimed a 1-0 win through a goal by Egyptian forward Amr Gamal.
The home side got off to the best start possible when Matome Mabeba broke the deadlock with a brilliant free kick that left Wits keeper Darren Keet with no chance, 1-0.
The Students nearly levelled matters minutes later, but Baroka goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze produced a fine save to keep out Cole Alexander’s header from close range.
Baroka grew in confidence as the game went on, while Wits were still trying to find their rhythm.
Teboho Sodi came close to doubling his side’s lead after 27 minutes when he found space inside the area before unleashing an effort at goal, but Keet was up for the challenge.
Sodi had another opportunity to extend Baroka’s lead even further, but Keet pulled off an impressive acrobatic save to deny his efforts from close range.
The home side went into the half-time interval with a 1-0 lead over Gavin Hunt’s men.
Wits came out a better side in the second half and came close to levelling matters when Hashim Domingo fired a strike at goal, but his effort sailed over the target.
Mxolisi Macuphu had a golden opportunity to make it 1-1, but he was unable to find the net from point blank range after latching on to a great ball from Lehlohonolo Nonyana.
The home side looked hungry in front of goal and had another chance to double their lead when Jemondre Dickens had a go from the edge of the box, but the forward blazed his effort over the target.
Mduduzi Mdantsane had an excellent chance to extend Baroka’s lead in the 76th minute when he had a tap-in at the back post, but the midfielder guided his effort wide of goal.
Wits should have equalised two minutes later, but Nonyana’s effort sailed wide of the target as the scoreline remained 1-0 in favour of Baroka.
Simon Murray had a big chance to get his side back into the game in the 81st minute, but the forward could not steer his effort towards goal.
The visitors pressed forward in the closing stages of the game as they went in search of an equalising goal, but Baroka held on to their 1-0 lead until the final whistle to book their place in the final of the competition.
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