Mamelodi Sundowns coach Mngqithi identifies Baroka’s top performers

Bakgaga marksman Evidence Makgopa seems to be on the up – he’s scored nine goals in his last 24 appearances for the Limpopo-based club

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Manqoba Mngqithi has spoken glowingly about Baroka FC’s players.

Sundowns beat Baroka 2-0 in a league match at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Wednesday night to open a five-point gap over second-placed SuperSport United.

Masandawana did however not have things all their own way and could not break down Baroka’s defence in the first half – it took two goals in five minutes midway through the seconds stanza from Gaston Sirino and Peter Shalulile to earn the victory for the Tshwane giants.

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And had the Limpopo side been more clinical in front of goal, they could well have taken something from the game.

Mngqithi admits that the visitors made his side work hard for the win and was impressed by some of the individual performances.

“It’s always a tough one against Baroka. And for whatever reason, when we are playing them here at home they always give us a very tough time,” the Downs coach said during his post match interview on SuperSport TV.

“Their transitions can be very dangerous with [Nhlanhla] Mgaga, [Thamsanqa] Masiya and the young boy [Evidence] Makgopa, you see what a handful he is. Aerially, he wants to win almost everything, and he’s the right specimen. Very quick as well, but also very tall, which gives them a little bit of an advantage.”

Makgopa is the youngest of the three at just 20, and Baroka is the only professional club he’s played for.

The 24-year-old Masiya was previously with Swallows FC and Mbombela United, while Mgaga, also 24, spent two seasons with TTM before joining Baroka ahead of last season.

Makgopa has netted an impressive five league goals in 14 matches this term and will likely be on the radar of some of the bigger clubs. Last season he only played eight league matches but still managed four goals.

Mgaga and Masiya have scored once each in the league this season.

The result left Bakgaga in 10th spot on the table, with 17 points and they are eight clear of the relegation zone. Now winless in their last five games in all competitions since beating Stellenbosch, they face Black Leopards in a derby encounter at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday.

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