Baroka FC 1-2 Kaizer Chiefs: Leonardo Castro scores on debut as 10-man Amakhosi register historic win
Castro silenced his critics by scoring on debut for his new employers to help Amakhosi move up to third on the PSL log

Kaizer Chiefs scored twice in the second half to eventually beat Baroka 2-1 at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele had a dream start to the game, opening the scoring midway through the first half, through former Platinum Stars attacker Lucky Nguzana.

However, Ryan Moon restored parity, before Leonardo Castro came off the bench to hammer the ball past Virgil Vries and seal the points for the Glamour Boys.

This was always going to be a tough test for Amakhosi, who were still waiting for their first victory over Baroka since the first time these two teams met in the Nedbank Cup in seven years ago.  

A blistering start to the first half saw Kgoloko Thobejane’s men win back-to-back corner kicks inside the opening 10 minutes, and create their first real chance of the afternoon.

Itumeleng Khune, who has kept nine cleansheets so far this season, had to be at his best to deny Robin Ngalande with a fantastic save 11 minutes into the game.

The home side put Chiefs under immense pressure for the better part of the first period, and things could have gotten worse had it not been for Baroka’s poor decision-making in the final third coupled with the visitors’ solid defence.

Having scored five of their 22 goals between the 30th and 45th minutes, Chiefs had to be on their toes in the remaining 15 minutes of the half, but they failed to do so, as Nguzana fired past Khune following a rebound which came off the upfright to make 1-0 a minute after the half-hour mark.

The goal came as a wake up to Amakhosi players, who then began to push forward with more intent, although they were often reduced to taking shots from range.

Chiefs players came from the dressing rooms looking livelier of the two sides, their record of scoring 20 percent of their goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half kept them motivated.

It wasn't surprising to see Moon level matters with a clean header from Siphiwe Tshabalala's cross two minutes after the restart. It is also worth noting that on average, Amakhosi have scored all their opening goals this season after 48 minutes. 

The tide turned, as Chiefs took full control of the game and began to threaten Baroka's goal on a regular basis, thanks to the introduction of both Dumisani Zuma and Siphelele Ntshangase midway through the second half. 

Baroka had their moments, but never really took their chances, even after club's leading goalscorer, Gift Motupa, had entered the field. 

Chiefs were not as effective defensively, with their centre-backs often caught out of positions, but Baroka would have themselves to blame for not testing Khune, who hardly made a save in the latter stages of the game. 

Komphela handed Castro his debut and as exciting Amakhosi fans were, they were soon silenced when Joseph Molangoane was sent off for retaliating on Khutso Mohwatseleng. 

The red card didn't stop the visitors from probing, and their persistence paid off when Castro proved his doubters wrong with a thunderous finish from inside box.

It was Castro's first goal since March 2017, and his first for the current campaign, and Komphela would hope to see more of the same performance from him in the remaining matches of the season. 

In the end, Castro's strike was enough to seal all the maximum points for the Naturena-based outfit, and lift them up to the third on the log, a point behind second-placed Cape Town City. 

Now, Chiefs have come from a goal down twice in their last two matches to win - ironically against two Limpopo-based side in Baroka and Polokwane City within the space of a week, and again, Moon scored on both occasions. 

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In Sunday's other match, Chippa United and Golden Arrows settled for a share of the spoils at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The two sides failed to score on the day in what was a tough encounter for Abafana Bes'thende as the Chilli Boys put them under pressure throughout the game. 

Both Chippa and Arrows remain eighth and 10th on the PSL log respectively. 

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