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Baroka claims maiden Telkom Knockout title

Coach Wedson Nyirende’s men were firm underdogs as Pirates were fancied to break their four year title drought after they too had to record a derby win over rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-final.

Baroka FC faced Orlando Pirates during the 2018 Telkom Knockout championship on 8 December 2018. Picture: @orlandopirates/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Baroka FC continued in their giant slaying ways when they won their first ever domestic title, beating a much fancied Orlando Pirates 3-2 on penalties in the final of the Telkom Knockout at a sold-out Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Bakgaga went into the clash on the back of some good results both in the league and in the Telkom Knockout, where they overcame some big names in Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits in their quest for a maiden domestic title.

Coach Wedson Nyirende’s men were firm underdogs as Pirates were fancied to break their four year title drought after they too had to record a derby win over rivals Kaizer Chiefs in the semi-final.

In an entertaining and drama filled first-half, Pirates dominated the early exchanges, both on the territory and possession stats; but they couldn’t make their dominance count as Baroka were winning to sit back and absorb the pressure.

A moment of madness took over Pirates defender Marshal Munetsi, who was given a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Jemondre Dickens and the Buccaneers were reduced to 10 men with five minute to go in the first-half.

It didn’t take long for the men from Limpopo to capitalize on the numerical advantage. Dickens the man that was fouled punished a horrific error from Bucs goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane that gave Baroka a 1-0 lead going into the half time break.

In the second-half, Pirates got the equaliser through Musa Nyatama after some lovely interplay between the front men. It finished 1-1 in regular time and an additional 30 mins of extra time ensued. Baroka hit the front again but from the penalty spot this time. Captain Mduduzi Mdantsane calmly slotted past Mpontshane, and Baroka were 15 minutes away from history. However, Thembinkosi Lorch had other ideas, pulling the Buccaneers level again, sending the match into the lottery of penalties.

Justin Shonga and Thembinkosi Lorch missed their penalties to give Baroka FC their first ever top flight trophy in Port Elizabeth.

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