Jomo Cosmos claimed all three points when they edged Royal Eagles 1-0 in an outstanding GladAfrica Championship (GAC) fixture played at Olen Park last Wednesday afternoon.
Quentin Debouto struck his first goal of the season via a penalty kick midway through the second period to give Ezenkosi the maximum points and steer the team out of the relegation zone.
Cosmos and Eagles went into the midweek fray at 15th and 16th respectively, with only a point separating the sides, but the home team showed intent early on, probing deep into their opponents half with Eagles relying on a counter attacking strategy.
Chances were far and between during a cagey first half though, with the best opportunity falling on the path of Sicelo Mkhize in the 41st minute, but the forward missed inexplicably with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Then in first half stoppage time, Debouto was also in with a chance following a good pull out from Mkhize, but his well-struck scissors kick narrowly veered off target.
In the opening minutes of the second stanza, it was Debouto again dashing into the box, but referee Tshidiso Maruping ignored penalty calls after the striker seemed to have been brought down illegally by a defender.
However, with the minutes ticking away, Ezenkosi’s hardworking right back, Tumelo “Super” Matona powered his way into the Eagles box, only to be upended by centre back Happy Mashau. This time the referee got it right by awarding a penalty.
So, Debouto stepped up and fired into the top right corner, giving Dlamini no chance as Cosmos finally broke the deadlock. It was Debouto’s first official goal for Ezenkosi and a very important one at that as the club managed to win only its second game of the season.
Wednesday’s victory took Ezenkosi two steps up to 13th on the GAC log with 11 points in as many matches, while Eagles remained rooted to the bottom with seven points in 11 games.
GladAfrica Championship, 20 November, 2019; Olen Park
JOMO COSMOS (0) 1 (Debouto pen. 71’)
ROYAL EAGLES 0
Referee: Tshidiso Maruping
COSMOS: Buthelezi – Matona, Hlatshwayo, Makhele, Hanamub – Lebahi ©, Mabula, Sicholo (KG Ndlovu 77’), Mngadi (Fredericks 90’) – Debouto, Mkhize (Kgope 81’).
SUBS NOT USED: Khoza, Gerald Ndlovu, Somtsewu, Ohizu.
COACH: Jomo Sono
EAGLES: Zama Dlamini – Zanoxolo Mduli, Sbusiso Maluleka, Happy Mashau, Maselaelo Seanego – Sphelele Zikalala, Sphesihle Msomi (Mpho Khumalo 81’), Mlungisi Khumalo (Nkosivumile Zulu 57’), Khanyisa Mayo, Sabelo Shabane (Thabang Klass 68’) – Gabriel Hlongwa.
SUBS NOT USED: Bonga Nxele, Ayanda Gcaba, Singabakho Ngema, Tebogo Kalake.
COACH: Medic Momcilo
BOOKED: Maluleka, Mlungisi Khumalo, Zulu, Matona, Mabula.