Jomo Cosmos suffered their worst defeat of the GladAfrica Championship campaign when they were crushed 5-1 by JDR Stars last Sunday at Giant Stadium, Soshanguve.
An uncoordinated backline, visionless midfield and blunt forward line saw Ezenkosi crumbling like a pack of cards in a miserable afternoon for coach Jomo Sono and his soldiers.
A flurry of first half goals and a virtuoso display of attacking football saw the GAC new boys smash five past a leaky defence that could not withstand the pace of the high-riding Hammer Boys.
Moeketsi Makhanya grabbed a hat trick in the game, while further goals by Sello Letooane and substitute Vusimuzi Mncube completed the rout despite a late consolation by Thomas Kgope for Cosmos.
The game kicked off with either side looking for openings to break the deadlock, but there were no big chances on offer until midway through the first half when Makhanya slid into the box and fired a blinder past the groping hands of Melusi Buthelezi.
Less than 10 minutes later, Makhanya drifted in again, went past Ezenkosi right back, Ongelethu Somtsewu, and unleashed another low shot into the back of the net.
From then on it was one-way traffic for the Hammer Boys as they completely took control of proceedings.
Sello Letooane then made it 3-0 with a clinical finish on 44 minutes as the hosts enjoyed a commanding lead going into the break.
Five minutes after the restart, JDR Stars increased their lead to four when Makhanya punished some slack defending to complete his hat trick.
Second half changes by Cosmos bench seemed to increase the tempo in the visitors’ attack as substitutes Kagiso Ndlovu, Chijioke Omeke and Gerald Ndlovu ran rings around a seemingly tired Stars back line.
However, with the game approaching the final 10 minutes of regulation time, Thomas Kgope scored a consolation for Ezenkosi after receiving a pass from Tebogo Mabula.
Minutes later, Mabula himself should have put Cosmos back in the game, but failed dismally when he fired wide off target after a brilliant solo run into the box.
JDR Stars sealed a comprehensive victory with another goal just before the whistle when substitute Vusimuzi Mncube lobbed goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi following another horrific defending by the visitors.
Saturday’s defeat saw Cosmos slump to 15th on the log with 11 points in 12 matches, while JDR Stars remained second with 23 points in 12 games, four behind log leaders Uthongathi FC.
Next up for Ezenkosi is a Nedbank Cup qualification fixture at home to University of Pretoria on Saturday.
GladAfrica Championship, 23 November, 2019; Giant stadium
JDR STARS (3) 5 (Makhanya 25’ 34’ 50’ Letooane 44’ Mncube 89’)
JOMO COSMOS (0) 1 (Kgope 81’)
STARS: Bongani Manavhela – Malesela Chokoe, Siphosihle Zitho ©, Pakiso Moeketsi, Felix Noge – Sipho Zwane, Thabang Mokoena, Sello Letooane, Moeketsi Makhanya – Tshepo Mashigo, Sephelo Baloni.
SUBS NOT USED: Tshepo Mohui, Biodun Afeez, Sifiso Mzizi, Thabang Sibanyoni.
COACH: Nnditsheni Nemasisi
COSMOS: Buthelezi – Somtsewu, Hlatshwayo, Makhele, Hanamub – Lebahi ©, Mabula, Mngadi (KG Ndlovu 46’), Kgope, Mkhize (Gerald Ndlovu 46’) – Debouto (Omeke 64’).
SUBS NOT USED: Khoza, Sicholo, Fredericks, Nkosi.
COACH: Jomo Sono
BOOKED: Somtsewu, Hanamub, Stwayi