Baroka FC keeper a hero to South Africa

Masuluke made headlines in the South African football history last when he scored a bicycle kick against Orlando Pirates in the last minute to make it 1 all. The goal saw Baroka share a point each with Orland Pirates in the ABSA Premiership encounter at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane. The goal was good enough for him to be nominated for the FIFA Puskas Awards although he did not win.

How the goal came:

Baroka started the clash brightly and forced a save from Jackson Mabokgwane in the seventh minute when Massa pounced on a loose ball in the Pirates box before smashing a shot at the near post. Pirates then had a chance at the other end when Tendai Ndoro got himself into a position to shoot from a tight angle but his effort hit the side-netting.

Baroka were on the attack again when Matloga cut through the middle. He only had the goalkeeper to beat, but Mabokgwane did well to come off his line and smother the shot just in time. The hosts had the better of the chances throughout the first half, but Ndoro had a decent opening when he attacked through the left channel. However, he was well shepherded by Shaku.

Pirates wasted little time after the break, and took the lead in the 48th minute. A corner kick found Justice Chabalala who poked home at the far post. The goal was rather dubious as Issa Sarr seemed to impede Masuluke in the air before the goal happened.

Baroka came close around the hour mark when a corner kick of their own found Mahashe’s head, but the attempt at goal went off target. Chances were few and far between in the latter stages of the game as Pirates seemed content to defend their fragile lead while Baroka struggled to penetrate the defences.

In the last moments of the tie Baroka won a corner kick and their goalkeeper Masuluke came forward to join, and then stunningly scored the equaliser in unbelievable fashion with an acrobatic overhead kick which found the back of the Pirates net to claim a point at the death.

How the team was promoted to the PSL and their survival the previous season:

This is the question that everyone is asking at the moment regarding Premier Soccer League new entrants Baroka FC. The team has been promoted to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) from the National First Division (NFD). Baroka FC finished the NFD 2015/2016 season as log leaders and that gained them automatic promotion to the PSL. Baroka is replacing Jomo Cosmos FC. Cosmos finished at the bottom of the PSL log standings which automatically relegates them to the NFD.

Baroka FC will be joined by Highlands Park FC as they won the promotional play-offs against Mbombela United FC and Pretoria University FC. They were playing the ply-offs which sees the winner joining Baroka FC at PSL for the 2016/2017 season. The play-offs are played by 3 teams, one which finished second from bottom at the PSL, and 2 which finished second and third in the NFD. The winner then joins the automatically promoted team at the Premier Soccer League (PSL).

Now the problem is whether Baroka FC and Highlands Park FC able to make standard at the PSL. The PSL and the NFD are very different, although the standard of soccer at the NFD has been growing highly during the past 2 seasons. For the past 2 seasons we have seen a lot of PSL teams losing to teams from the NFD in the Nedbank Cup which includes teams from lower leagues.

Baroka FC must make sure that they are well prepared for their debut season in the PSL, if not then they will have to pack their bags and head back to the NFD at the end of the 2016/2017 season. It is very tough in the PSL. Teams have been promoted and again relegated back to the NFD a lot of times. Baroka FC might be one of them.’

Looking in to the Baroka FC squad and management, there is a lot of potential in the team and the coach is a very good one. Mr Thobejane is the right man for Baroka FC. If they planning to remain in the PSL in their first season, they must retain their coach. They must also not change a lot of playing personnel. Their current squad is good enough to compete in the PSL, they just need to strengthen their team with only 4 or 5 experienced players.

The team is now at the top of the PSL table and are doing their all to stay at the top and make history in South African football. Doctor Khumalo joined the team as head of the technical team at the beginning of the season and so far has worked wonders with head coach Kgoloko Thobejane.

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