Baroka’s triumphant Telkom Knockout campaign broken down
The final was Baroka FC’s best day in their history, but they had to fight hard against a spirited Orlando Pirates side.
JOHANNESBURG - Limpopo-based side Baroka FC made history at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth when they were crowned Telkom Knockout Champions for the first time ever, beating Orlando Pirates on penalties in the final.
This is how they fared in the tournament in which they went unbeaten:
20 October 2018: Bakgaga’s match of the tournament was a 2-0 win over Golden Arrows at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium. Wedson Nyirenda’s men dominated the match from start to finish, scoring in the first minute of the match and doubling their advantage on the 80th-minute mark for a comfortable victory.
3 November 2018: Many thought Baroka’s competition would end in the next round when they came up against Mamelodi Sundowns, this time across the round at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. Masandawana were expected to waltz past Baroka, but the men from Limpopo had other ideas. Captain Mduduzi Mdantsane’s 21st minute penalty gave Baroka the lead before Reyaad Pieterse’s calamitous own goal in the 68th sealed the win and claimed a massive scalp along the way.
25 November 2018: Again, Baroka went into the semifinal stage of the competition as the underdogs as they came up against a high-flying and defending champions Bidvest Wits at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium. The winner of the match would face Orlando Pirates in the final after the Sea Robbers foiled their bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs the day before. Matome Mabeba’s thunderous freekick in the 8th minute was enough to see them through to a mammoth final against Pirates.
8 December 2018: The final was Baroka’s best day in their history, but they had to fight hard against a spirited Pirates side who were reduced to 10 men after Marshall Munetsi was red carded for a two-footed challenge on Jemondre Dickens. Dickens and Mdantsane’s goals looked like they had sealed the win for Baroka but Musa Nyatama and Thembinkosi Lorch’s goals sent the tie into a tense penalty shootout which Baroka prevailed 3-2 to clinch their first-ever top-flight football trophy.
Mdantsane was the star of the campaign for Baroka as his calm-when-required to slot home a penalty and his leadership steered Baroka to success.