Jomo Cosmos zoomed into the Last 8 of the Nedbank Cup on Tuesday night when they edged Bidvest Wits 5-4 on penalties at Tsakane Stadium.
Fearless shot-stopper, Thabo Davies Modiba was Ezenkosi’s hero in the pulsating shoot-out, denying Cuthbert Malajila and Sifiso Hlanti as Cosmos rallied to take the tie and advance to the next round.
Linda Mntambo had fired Ezenkosi in front just before half time when he finished off a rebound after his initial effort was blocked by Siboniso Gaxa. The goal came from an electrifying move initiated by Matsilele Sono Jnr on the left flank, leaving marker, Siboniso Gaxa, for dead before squaring the ball to Wiseman Maluleke.
Cosmos led 1-0 at the break, and looked like doubling their advantage in the opening stages of the second half, but Tebogo Makobela, Wiseman Maluleke and Mxolisi Macuphu failed to punish the Clever Boys defence.
The visitors would later restore parity just after the hour mark when Magokologi Ngele prodded home a corner kick deftly taken by substitute Daine Klate.
The teams finished the game 1-1 in regulation time, and just before half-time of extra-time, Ngele was presented with a great chance to give Wits the lead, but the forward hastily blasted his effort over the crossbar from inside the box.
Cosmos could have grabbed the winner on the counter but Moeneeb Josephs was called upon to deny substitute Madonsela’s shot from distance.
There were no further goals as the sides finished the battle 1-1 after extra-time.
Ange Lebahi then put Cosmos in front at the start of a dramatic penalty shoot-out, while Sifiso Hlanti missed in sudden death to give Ezenkosi a well-deserved victory.
Penalty kicks sequence: Lebahi (scores), Mahlambi (scores), Matsi Sono (saved), Malajila (saved), Gebhardt (scores), Pelembe (hits post), Makobela (shoots over), Myeni (scores), Nsabiyumva (scores), Ntshangase (scores), Sudden death: Lingwati (scores), Mkhwanazi (scores), Madonsela (scores), Hlanti (saved).
*Cosmos advance to quarter-finals 5-4 on penalties
SUPERSPORT MAN OF THE MATCH: Sifiso Hlanti (Bidvest Wits)
COSMOS (4-5-1): Davies Modiba – Thato Lingwati, Frederic Nsabiyumva (Captain), Ange Lebahi, Shane Thompson (Ananias Gebhardt 60′) – Denzil Haoseb, Linda Mntambo, Tebogo Makobela, Matsilele Sono Jnr, Wiseman Maluleke (Thato Sithole 61′) – Mxolisi Macuphu (Nkanyiso Madonsela 115′)
Subs not used: Williams Okpara Jnr, Tebogo Tlolane, Sipho Mngomezulu, Lefa Hlongwane.
COACH: Jomo Sono
WITS (4-4-2): Moeneeb Josephs – Siboniso Gaxa, Bongani Khumalo, Buhle Mkhwanazi (Captain), Sifiso Hlanti – Phumlani Ntshangase, Jabulani Shongwe (Daine Klate 46′ [Elias Pelembe 82′]), Sifiso Myeni, Christantus Uzoenyi (Phakamani Mahlambi 46′), Mogakolodi Ngele, Cuthbert Malajila.
Subs not used: Darren Keet, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Eleazar Rodgers
COACH: Gavin Hunt