Run ragged by their National First Division opponents for most of the first half, Stuart Baxter’s men pounced during a 7-minute spell just after the break to book a place in the final against Orlando Pirates.
The goals, scored by Bradley Grobler and Thuso Phala courtesy of passes from Jeremy Brockie, exposed Baroka’s defensive naivety – a clear sign of a lack of experience at the highest level.
First Lala Ntsoane allowed Grobler ample space and time inside the box and the striker took advantage to get to Brockie’s flick and shot home with his left foot.
That rattled the hitherto giant-killers who were aiming for a cup and promotion double going into this match.
And SuperSport turned the screw and swiftly rendered the match over as a contest when Brockie delivered a through pass that found the Baroka defence out of position. The ball duly found Phala, who made no mistake as he struck home the goal that will see Matsatsantsa contest the final against the Buccaneers at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on May 28.
SuperSport started the most sprightly and Brockie had a chance on three minutes which he uncharacteristically wasted and shortly thereafter Baroka goalkeeper Oscarine Masuluke stole the ball from Kingston Nkhatha’s feet after the striker had rounded a defender.
With Baxter’s plan to strike early failing, Baroka got their footing and began displaying the free-flowing football that saw them beat Chippa United, Golden Arrows and Polokwane City en route to their second Nedbank semi-final in five years.
With Nkosinathi Ndlovu dictating terms with his deft touches and confidence in possession, Baroka kept SuperSport on the back foot and had the ball in the net on 33 minutes.
But the goal did not stand as the assistant referee on the far side raised his flag for off-side before Donald Mokondelela slotted home.
The visitors threatened to take the lead again on the stroke of half-time but Lucky Mothwa headed Ndlovu’s splendid cross wide off Ronwen Williams’ goal.
That reprieve saw SuperSport return from the break more attack-minded and it was not long before their approach was rewarded with those two quick goals.
And try as they did to get back, Baroka met with a stubborn SuperSport rearguard, though their poor final ball generally let them down as they created some promising moves.
How this defeat – a second exit at this stage after they lost to Black Leopards on penalties on May 15, 2011 – affects Baroka’s confidence as they head into their final league match next weekend remains to be seen.
They top the NFD by three points before Highlands Park play Mthatha Bucks today and will need to beat Milano United in their final match to assure promotion.
What this loss showed, though, is that for all their talent and impressive showing, Baroka will need to add experience to their team should they gain promotion.
Lucas Moripe Stadium
SuperSport United (0) 2
Grobler 47 Phala 54
Baroka FC 0
– The Sunday Independent
Original source: SuperSport see off Baroka