Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
12 May 2016
1:07 pm

Warriors halt Baroka, spoil party with shock defeat

Sibongiseni Gumbi

Relegation threatened African Warriors upset Baroka's celebration plans as they beat the National First Division (NFD) champions-elect 1-0 at the Charles Mopeli Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

A win and Baroka would have been technically home free on their way to winning automatic promotion to the Absa Premiership as they would have extended their lead to six points. But the loss has left the door open for their title rivals Highlands Park to steal the show.

Baroka have one game remaining, and are on 59 points, while Highlands are second with 56. The Lions of the North will have to win both their remaining games though if they are to topple Bakgaga who have been at the top of the NFD standings since September last year.

Baroka will play Milano United in their last game on May 21, while Highlands have Mthatha Bucks and AmaZulu on their way in the last two matches.

Things just were not going Baroka’s way in the Free State yesterday. The first half finished at 0-0, but Baroka could have already been trailing had it not been for poor finishing by Warriors.

Things went from bad to worse for Kgoloko Thobejane’s team when Angelo Lubayo scored early in the second half. Baroka could have found an equaliser but fluffed some good scoring chances.

The win helped Warriors leapfrog Moroka Swallows to 15th on the standings with 25 points and revive their survival hopes although the other relegation threatened teams have a game in hand.

Baroka’s game was played yesterday because they will be involved in a Nedbank Cup game this weekend, where they face Pretoria giants, SuperSport United on Saturday.

Bakgaga have been in admirable form in the Ke Yona as well, and have already knocked out three PSL teams in Chippa United, Golden Arrows and Polokwane City.

Their impressive run in Ke Yona has generated keen interest in their match-up against Matsatsantsa as fans want to see if they can keep their giant slaying going and knock Stuart Baxter’s team out as well.

Speaking to Phakaaathi, The Citizen’s sister soccer publication, Baroka midfielder, Dumisani Ngwenya said they want to set a new record by becoming the first NFD team to win the Nedbank Cup.