Cosmos pound Witbank Spurs 4-0 to survive relegation scare

Tumi Ngwepe of Jomo Cosmos  during the National First Division match between University of Pretoria and Jomo Cosmos on the 20 April 2019 at Tuks Stadium Pic Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Tumi Ngwepe was a handful for Witbank Spurs defence during Sunday’s game

Jomo Cosmos retained their National First Division (NFD) status after a comprehensive 4-0 defeat of already relegated Witbank Spurs last Sunday.

Ecstatic Ezenkosi fans sang and danced all through the rather one-sided encounter at the Puma Rugby Stadium as their team made a clean job of avoiding the drop.

A spate of misses characterized the opening half hour as Ezenkosi players got the jitters in front of goal, but captain Ange Lebahi would go on to set the pace with a well-taken penalty kick after Vusimuzi Mncube had been felled in the box by Olaleng Shaku.

The visitors led 1-0 at the break, but more was to come.

Less than 10 minutes after the restart, Kagiso Ndlovu doubled the score for Cosmos when he smashed in a through pass from Tumi Ngwepe, giving goalkeeper Tsebo Tsotetsi no chance.

Spurs responded well and began to run rings around the Cosmos defence, but strikers Quentin Debouto and Thabang Klaas could find no way past Ezenkosi’s solid backline.

With 13 minutes left on the clock, Cosmos launched a counter attack down the middle, and in a twinkle of an eye, Tumi Ngwepe laid on an intelligent pass for Vusimuzi Mncube to finish off! 3-0.

Mncube turned provider again in stoppage time when he was upended by goalkeeper Tsotetsi for Ezenkosi’s second penalty.

Namibian wing back, Riaan Hanamub then stepped up and blasted the ball into the right hand corner for Ezenkosi’s fourth goal of the evening.

The result saw Cosmos finishing 13th on the NFD log with 35 points in 30 matches as Stellenbosch FC were confirmed champions while Royal Eagles and Tshakhuma TM grabbed play-off spots.

Ubuntu Cape Town joined Witbank Spurs as the two relegated teams.

MATCH STATS

NFD, 05 May, 2019; Puma Rugby Stadium, Witbank 
WITBANK SPURS 0 
JOMO COSMOS (1) 4 (Lebahi 39’pen, Ndlovu 54’ Mncube 77’ Hanamub 90+2 pen) 
Ref: Luxolo Badi
SPURS: Tsebo Tsotetsi – Sandile Motladile, Olaleng Shaku, Mswati Mavuto, Bonga Nkosi – Njabulo Sithebe, Odwa Bushula, Moses Raphelele, Thomas Kgope – Thabang Klaas, Slovo Mrawu (Quentin Debouto 46’).
SUBS NOT USED: Ludick Mkhatshwa, Lunathi Mdatyulwa, Thabang Mathuka, Randy Ngobe, Nduduzo Phakathi.
COACH: Belden Mafu
COSMOS: Buthelezi – Tshangane, Hlatshwayo, Lebahi ©, Hanamub – S. Ledwaba (Jnr Sono 76’), Sibeko, Mabula (Obi 57’), Ngwepe, K. Ndlovu (Gumede 88’) – Mncube
SUBS NOT USED: Chibwe, Tshawe, Kekana, Maimela.
COACH: Jomo Sono
BOOKED: Tshangane, Motladile

-Mark Ogagan

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