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Phiri, Chipezeze star for leaders Baroka

Malawian Gerald Phiri and Zimbabwean Elvis Chipezeze starred for Baroka in a 1-0 South African Premiership victory over Bidvest Wits Tuesday that made them early-season leaders.

Baroka FC goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze receives his Man of the Match award following the Absa Premiership match against Bidvest Wits on 6 August 2019. Picture: @Baroka_FC/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Malawian Gerald Phiri and Zimbabwean Elvis Chipezeze starred for Baroka in a 1-0 South African Premiership victory over Bidvest Wits Tuesday that made them early-season leaders.

Phiri, who was on the books of Wits for three seasons from 2015 but spend most of his time on loan to other clubs, struck the only goal after 42 minutes in Johannesburg.

When Baroka from northern city Polokwane were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box, Phiri swept a curling left-foot shot past Brandon Petersen into the corner of the net.

Chipezeze was part of the Zimbabwe 2019 Africa Cup of Nations squad in Egypt two months ago and repeatedly thwarted Wits to collect the man-of-the-match award.

"What a marvelous result," said the shot-stopper, referring to the shock victory by a club who narrowly avoided relegation last season while Wits finished third.

Stand-in coach Matsimela Thoka lauded the first Premiership win of Baroka over Wits: "We showed great character and were prepared to fight for every ball."

Wits coach Gavin Hunt lamented missed chances, saying "we battered Baroka but were not sharp enough in the final third.

"We perform better when playing away," he added, referring to a 3-0 victory over AmaZulu in Durban last Saturday on the opening day of the 2019/2020 season.

Baroka, who were held at home by Cape Town City the same day, have four points, one more than Orlando Pirates, Wits, Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, Golden Arrows and Polokwane City.