Cosmos starting line up vs Santos: Back row (L-R) Shane Thompson,
Lesego Modiba, Denzil Haoseb, Thato Lingwati, Mxolisi Macuphu,
Frederic Nsabiyumva. Front row (L-R) Tumisang Mashele, Wiseman
Maluleke, Lefa Hlongwane, Ananias Gebhardt, Tebogo Makobela.
Jomo Cosmos players produced a five-star performance that could be likened to a befitting gift to club boss and Doctorate Awardee, Jomo Sono, when they beat visiting Santos 3-1 at the weekend to finish in the top five bracket of the NFD at half way mark.
A brace from Lefa Hlongwane and an own goal by Sachin Dawood virtually settled matters as Ezenkosi romped into a 3-0 lead after 72 minutes, before Emil Sambou scored a late consolation for the Peoples Team.
A commanding performance at Olen Park Stadium saw Cosmos finish the year on a high, though the score-line looks a bit flattering to the Capetonians who should have caved in under a barrage of attacks, but were lucky not to concede more than three.
After early exchanges produced no clear cut chances from either side, Ezenkosi leading goal scorer, Mxolisi Macuphu was put through by strike partner, Lefa Hlongwane, but he fired wide of goalkeeper Dino Ben Visser’s post.
Just after the half-hour mark, Hlongwane found space in the box after an intelligent move initiated by Wiseman Maluleke and Tebogo Makobela on the right, but he too, blasted his effort wide.
Makobela then went close when he connected with a point-blank header from Shane Thompson’s long throw, but Visser saved well.
However, Visser could do nothing to stop Hlongwane from breaking the deadlock the following minute when the striker collected Makobela’s pin-point pass, maneuvered his way into the box, and fired the ball to the far right of the goalpost, well out of the keeper’s reach.
Four minutes later, Macuphu almost doubled Ezenkosi’s lead, but his powerful rising shot bounced off the cross bar after beating the goalkeeper.
Cosmos led 1-0 at the break, but five minutes on resumption, a rampaging Makobela cut in from the right flank, and squared the ball into the box for Macuphu, but Sachin Dawood intercepted the pass and unfortunately, scrambled the ball into his own net to give Ezenkosi a 2-0 cushion.
Dr. Sono later rang some changes to his team as debuting young midfielder, Njabulo “Scara” Qwabe came on to display some of his inherent skills to an appreciative crowd after replacing Tumisang Mashele on the right wing.
Midway into the second half, Cosmos made their dominance pay off when Ananias ‘Junior’ Gebhardt, playing his first league game of the season, fired on goal after being fed by Hlongwane in the box. The Namibian’s shot was blocked, but Hlongwane was quick to finish off the rebound to put Ezenkosi 3-0 up.
The home side created more chances to increase the score, but Junior saw his ferocious free kick parried away for a corner, while Macuphu’s effort was also pushed into touch from Qwabe’s intelligent pass in the box.
Moments later, Santos launched a rare counter attack down the right, and from substitute Darron Omaticus’ pull out, Emil Sambou banged home a consolatory goal for the visitors after Cosmos keeper, Lesego Modiba had blocked substitute Ryan Chapman’s shot.
Earlier in the day’s curtain-raiser, Jomo Cosmos reserves scored four goals in each half in an incredible 8-0 hammering of Touch Eleven FC.
Two goals apiece from Namibian forward Hendrik “Ballack” Somaeb, Malawian midfielder Miciam Mhone, Mtokozisi “Boika” Msomi and substitute Pako Mahaabo decided the one-sided encounter.
TEAM LINE-UPS (JOMO COSMOS VS SANTOS)
COSMOS (4-4-2): Lesego Modiba – Tumisang Mashele (Njabulo Qwabe 69’), Thato Lingwati (Ange Lebahi 75’), Frederic Nsabiyumva (Captain), Shane Thompson – Ananias Gebhardt, Wiseman Maluleke (Sipho Mngomezulu 71’), Denzil Haoseb, Tebogo Makobela – Mxolisi Macuphu, Lefa Hlongwane.
COACH: Dr. Sono
SANTOS (4-5-1): Dino Ben Visser – Sachin Dawood, Darren Smith (Renaldo Jonkers 67’), Ricardo Skippers, Shaun Sopho (Darron Omaticus 76’) – Tyren Arendse (Captain), Alhagie Bah (Ryan Chapman 56’), Ashley Hartog, Iqraam Rayners, Isoouf Paro – Emil Sambou
COACH: Antonio De Nobrega
BOOKED: Dawood 68’ Qwabe 80’