It was a frustrating evening in front of goal for Cape Town City as they suffered defeat on Tuesday evening thanks to two sensational Mpho Kgaswane strikes.
The Citizens looked to bounce back in the league as they travelled to Limpopo to face off against a tricky Baroka.
The clash promised much excitement as City went into the game with their title aspirations having diminished following three consecutive league defeats against Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits, while Baroka were eager to maintain their top eight position.
As expected coach Benni McCarthy made a handful of changes as he looked to freshen up his squad, and was given a major boost ahead of kick-off as Roland Putsche returned to the starting XI.
The changes almost immediately seemed to breathe new life into the City attack as Judas Moseamedi had an early chance to break the deadlock. The attacker latched onto a long ball that was not dealt with by the Baroka defender, but could only watch on as his shot hit the woodwork to the relief of the home side.
City were dominant in possession and looked the most likely to score, but again finishing was proving to be their Achilles heel. Lyle Lakay was superbly queued up on the edge of the box but the winger’s shot went just wide of the Baroka goal.
Although, Baroka had the likes of Gift Motupa who was the club’s leading goal scorer with eight goals, City certainly did their homework as he was isolated up front and wasn’t given a sniff at goal in the first half.
Rather the action was focused predominantly in Baroka’s half with Moseamedi constantly in the thick of things as a long-range effort deflected off him and was directed goalward, only for Baroka goalkeeper Ayanda Dlamini to deny City the opener with an impressive save.
Moseamedi was proving a nuisance in attack and his link-up with Lakay was proving too much to handle for the Baroka defence. But despite the exciting build-up play, the City head coach would be left pulling his hair out thanks to City’s wastefulness in front of goal. Again, it was the 24-year-old Moseamedi who spurned a good opportunity, this time as his powerful drive hit the side netting with only the keeper to beat.
But as has become customary with City this season, in the 35th minute Baroka would make the visitors rue their missed opportunities as Mpho Kgaswane executed a free kick to perfection on the edge of the area which left Shuaib Walters with no chance.
The goal clearly dampened City’s morale as they failed to threaten the Baroka keeper again in the first half, and went into the break behind.
The resumption of the second half again saw City in the front foot early. Lakay was showing just why he was McCarthy’s preferred choice in the playmaking role as he delivered the ball on a plate for Craig Martin, only for the Kensington-born attacker to fluff his opportunity to the frustration of the technical team.
The absence of a proven goal scorer was evident and had the Mother City based outfit taken their chances they could have been cruising. But that was proving not to be the case as Baroka began to come back into the game just after the hour mark.
While Baroka threatened they were unable to create anything of substance. This allowed City to once again go in search of the equaliser, and with 10 minutes to go substitute Shane Roberts should have done better as he blasted his effort wide from point blank range.
As City were throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the Baroka goal, they were susceptible to the counter attack and with only two minutes to go in the game, Kgaswane showed great technique as he banged home his second goal of the night from range ending any hope of a City comeback.