IT has been a fairytale campaign for National First Division (NFD) pacesetters Baroka FC as they rode a rollercoaster of passion and fury to advance to the semifinals of the Nedbank Cup.
This Saturday, Bakgaga will visit stubborn SuperSport United at the Lucas Masterpieces Moripe stadium in Attridgeville, Pretoria.
Following an impressive run in this year’s edition of the tournament, Baroka have been on everybody’s lips.
The Ga-Mphahlele, Polokwane, side marched to the semis by beating Absa Premiership campaigners Chippa United, Golden Arrows and provincial neighbours Polokwane City.
Reaching the finals for the first time is what Baroka coach Kgokolo Thobejane and his charges are yearning for, but a maiden cup victory will be a historic feat the club’s management and support with cherish forever.
They have a reputation of causing upsets for even big guns, as football history books confirm.
Back in 2011, Baroka used territorial advantage to cause a major upset to then-all conquering Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows – both with the same score line of 2-1at the Peter Mokaba stadium in Polokwane.
At that time they were merely campaigning in the Vodacom League under the tutelage of young coach Sello Chokoe.
However, their run was halted by another Limpopo side, Black Leopards in a pulsating seminal encounter that was settled through penalty shootouts.
It has been amazing how Baroka have been able to balance equally the work rate in the NFD and Nedbank Cup, something observers thought will be some sort of distraction.
Kgokolo says their ability to strike a balance between competition and league has always been passion and hunger to achieve big.
Ahead of their game against Matsatsantsa a Pitori, Kgokolo said: “We are not going to treat SuperSport differently. There is nothing special about them. Our mission is still the game. The game plan hasn’t changed.”
Baroka will embark on the great trek to Pretoria oozing buoyancy after beating Witbank Spurs 1-0 at the Old Peter Mokaba on Saturday to cement their position at the summit of NFD table.
Their hosts, on the other hand, are perched eighth on PSL log after drawing 2-2 with Polokwane City at the venue for the Nedbank clash.
Thobejane said their run of victories is enough motivation to produce positive results.
“We always play to win. There is no game we approach with a negative mindset. In fact, lose is not part of our vocabulary. That is why we even win against so-called big teams. SuperSport should just brace themselves for a full brunt of assault” warned Thobejane.