FEATURE: Baroka's road to the Telkom Knockout Cup final

Ananias Gebhardt‚ Baroka & Lebogang Maboe, Sundowns, November 2018
Goal looks at Baroka's road to the final by recaping the three games they played which saw them make this history

Baroka are into the final of the 2018 Telkom Knockout Cup; their first major Cup final since gaining promotion to the PSL. 

Bakgaga Ba Mphahlele had to wait for at least seven years to be where they are today, and this is a success story because they were nearly relegated from the PSL not so long ago. 

Baroka had to win the relegation/promotion play-offs to retain their place in the elite league, while they came close to be relegated last season. 

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Since Wedson Nyirenda's arrival as head coach of the Limpopo-based outfit, things have changed for the better. Baroka have slowly again become giant killers of South African football.

They beat Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits among other teams on their way to this year's TKO final.   

The fact that they also made it to the final without conceding a goal means that they are doing something right. 

Goal looks at Baroka's road to the final by recaping the three games they played which saw them make this history.  

 Baroka ease into TKO quarter-finals

Baroka road PS

There was no clear favourites or underdogs as both sides started the season very slowly. 

However, Golden Arrows were tipped to walk over the Polokwane-based side even though Baroka were playing in front of their home fans. 

Collins Makgaka's goal first minute into the encounter made it difficult for Arrows to recover, and gave Baroka an upper had in the game. 

While Clinton Larsen's men tried to a comeback, they were blown away by Tebogo Sodi's 80th minute goal. 

The goal sealed a 2-0 win for Baroka, and it was a good result which saw them set up a date with Sundowns. 

 Nyirenda's men stun Sundowns 

Wedson Nyirenda, Baroka FC

Baroka would consider themselves very fortunate to have stunned Sundowns in the quarter-finals. 

A comedy of errors from the Sundowns defence gifted Baroka two goals, and those were enough to see them advance to the semi-finals. 

Mosa Lebusa handled the ball inside the box, and Mduduzi Mdantsane stepped up to convert from the spot. 

Sundowns goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse then made a terrible mistake with over 20 minutes to go as he scored an own goal and thus handing Baroka a 2-0 win. 

 Baroka TKO defending champions 

Khurishi Mphahlele, Baroka FC

Nyirenda's men went into the encounter with Bidvest Wits with an impressive record. They had scored four goals and conceded none in the two games they played prior. 

This encounter was overshadowed by the hype of the other semi-final clash between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. 

A stunning 8th-minute free-kick goal by Matome Mabeba sealed the deal for Baroka, who held on and frustrated the Students. 

Baroka also keep their successive clean sheet, meaning Pirates will need something special to really breach their defence in the final. 

Goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze has been in scintillating form for Baroka, and while he can be praised for his contribution, he should be reminded that the job is still not done.