Gerald Phiri Jr Hero As Baroka FC Haunts Bidvest Wits In Shock Win

Baroka FC registered their first win of the season away to Bidvest Wits, thanks to Gerald Phiri Jr’s first-half strike. 

Phiri Jr struck three minutes before the interval in what was his first goal of the 2019/20 Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.

This was after relentless pressure from Baroka, who looked the better of the two sides throughout the game. 

The Students created some decent chances in the second 45 minutes, but Baroka held on for three precious points which took them top of the standings. 

As things stand, Baroka is on four points from two league games; an unfamiliar territory for a team which nearly got relegated last season. 

Wits kept the same team that beat AmaZulu 3-0 away from home last weekend, but the Baroka technical team shook things up with three changes from the side that drew 2-2 at home against Cape Town City. 

Khulegani Madondo, Terrence Tisdell and Sbonelo Ngubane cracked the nod as Baroka for their first win at Wits. 

A very tactical approach from Baroka saw them on the front foot from the word go, and Wits had to defend deep to keep the visitors away from goalkeeper Brendon Petersen. 

However, there were fewer chances created in the opening half-hour. 

It took 42 minutes for the first and only goal of the game to come as Phiri Jr curled his free-kick past Petersen. 

This was after Thabang Monare was adjudged to have handled the ball inside on the edge of the box. 

Petersen should have done better in organising his wall, but credit must go to Phiri Jr for being able to curl the ball over the wall and into the top corner.  

Gavin Hunt made a double substitution at the start of the second-half with Haashim Domingo and Gift Motupa coming on to replace Monare and Terrence Dzvukamanja, respectively.

The two changes brought Wits back into life as they began to test Baroka goalkeeper Elves Chipezeze. 

Chipezeze produced two quick saves to deny Keegan Ritchie and Mxolisi Macuphu two minutes into the second 45 minutes.   

At this stage, Baroka knew that they had to be compact in midfield and avoid giving away cheap free-kicks in their own half.

Baroka managed the game well, forcing Wits to take shots from distance which hardly hit the target.

Chipezeze had one last chance to shine as he tipped Domingo’s attempt over the bar in the dying stages of the game.

The Zimbabwean goalkeeper eventually walked away with the man of the match award for his efforts, but overall, Baroka would be proud of this performance which they would hope to build on going forward.

For Wits, it’s back to the drawing board and a bit concerning for Hunt’s side who hardly lose matches at the Bidvest Stadium.  

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