Reports & Previews

Highlands Park 2-1 Baroka FC

Highlands Park took a big step towards securing their Premiership safety after rallying from behind to secure a 2-1 victory over Baroka FC at Makhulong Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Bakgaga claimed the lead through Mduduzi Mdantsane on 16 minutes, but the Lions of the North drew level on the stroke of half-time before Mothobi Mvala netted what would turn out to be the winning goal seven minutes after the break.

After a muted opening five-minute spell, the match sprang to life in the eighth minute when Tshidiso Patjie let fly with a right-footed volley, forcing goalkeeper Marlon Heugh into making a save.

The hosts hit back two minutes later with a good chance of their own, but goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze did well to get down low to his left to deny Ryan Rae's goalbound volley.

Baroka went on to claim the lead with their next noteworthy attack as skipper Mdatsane underlined his importance after slotting home in the 16th minute.

The visitors continued to pile forward as they went on search of a second goal, but Mdatsane fired high and wide a few minutes later before Siyabonga Vilane shot wide of the left-hand upright.

Bakgaga continued to threaten, with Tshidiso Patjie twice going close to adding his name to the scoresheet on either side of the half-hour mark.

However, with the first half drawing to a close, the Lions of the North roared back into contention as they drew level on the stroke of half-time, Sello Motsepe netting the all-important goal.

And, the hosts picked up where they left off after the break as Mothobi Mvala got in on the act, slotting home in the 52nd minute after an inviting cross into the box by Sabelo Nyembe.

The game descended into a stop-start affair from point on, with Highlands Park picking up a number of bookings, while both coaches made a series of substitutions.

Baroka substitute Matome Mabeba had two chances in quick succession, but fired wide from a free-kick before sending a left-footed drive wide of the right-hand post in the 74th minute.

That was the last chance of note, though, as both sides failed to manage a single shot on target in the remaining minutes.

The result sees the Lions of 5the North move further away from the dreaded drop zone, while Baroka remain perilously close to the bottom-two on 21 points.