NFD leaders Baroka will all but secure automatic promotion with a win away at basement club African Warriors today in what will seal an incredible season for the modest Limpopo club.
Baroka are on 59 points, three ahead of second placed Highlands Park – the only club that can still knock them off the top with two games to play and will need four points to be guaranteed of the sole ticket to the PSL for next season.
However, considering that they have a plus-five better goal difference than Highlands a win at the Charles Mopeli Stadium will just about be enough for Baroka with one more game to play – at home to Milano United on the closing day – May 22.
A win today (kick-off 15h00) for head coach Kgoloko Thobejane will mean that for Highlands to finish top then they have to win their last two games away at Mthatha Bucks and at home to AmaZulu by huge margins and then hope Bakgaga falter against Milano so that they then clinch the title through a better goal difference.
However, that is very unlikely.
“It is very important that we win against Warriors,” Daniel ‘Oupa’ Kgoadi, Baroka team manager, tells KickOff.com.
“We are actually going all out to win this game. The guys are focused on what stands ahead of us because we are almost there now. We just need everyone to concentrate and it is important that we win this game so that we go six points up and make it extremely difficult for the team in number two to have any chance. We also want to go to the weekend game against SuperSport in high spirits,” says Kgoadi.
Shaku Olaleng is the only player that will not be available due to suspension after picking up four yellow cards with Donald Makondelela back after missing out the last match due to suspension.
After just three years in the First division during which they finished fourth in their first year and then ninth last season, Baroka are on the brink of becoming the second club from Limpopo in the PSL after Polokwane City.
Bakgaga’s match with Warriors has been brought forward due to the fact that they have Nedbank Cup business to deal with at the weekend by way of a semi-final tie against SuperSport United on Saturday evening (20h15).
Just like they did five years ago – Baroka are back in the last four yet again and will be keen to reach the final after wrapping up their historic promotion to the PSL – an amazing achievement for a club based in semi-rural Ga-Mphahlele in Lebowakgomo, Limpopo.
Real Rovers, Dynamos, Ria Stars and Black Leopards are the other clubs that have previously come from the northernmost province of South Africa.
|11 May||Wits v Mamelodi Sundowns||19:30||Bidvest Stadium|
|11 May||Free State Stars v Kaizer Chiefs||19:30||Goble Park|
|11 May||Maritzburg United v Ajax Cape Town||19:30||Harry Gwala Stadium|
|11 May||SuperSport United v Black Aces||19:30||Lucas Moripe Stadium|
|11 May||Chippa United v Orlando Pirates||19:30||Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium|
|11 May||Polokwane City v University of Pretoria||19:30||Old Peter Mokaba Stadium|
|11 May||Golden Arrows v Jomo Cosmos||19:30||Princess Magogo Stadium|
|11 May||Platinum Stars v Bloemfontein Celtic||19:30||Royal Bafokeng Stadium|