Jomo Cosmos overcame their recent humiliation by JDR Stars to kick University of Pretoria (AmaTuks) out of the Nedbank Cup with a deserving 2-1 victory in Potchefstroom last Saturday.
Quentin Debouto and Sicelo Mkhize scored in either half as Cosmos returned to winning ways and arrest a slide that has been a source of worry to Ezenkosi fans.
The qualifying fixture witnessed two evenly-matched teams doing battle on a stifling hot afternoon in Olen Park where Cosmos have so far posted an impressive record of two wins and a draw since returning to the arena early this month.
The Students came into Saturday’s game on the back of a league victory at TS Galaxy in midweek and on paper, were more favoured to win and advance to the next round of South Africa’s biggest money-spinning cup competition.
However, all of that was quickly dispelled after 19 minutes of play, when Quentin Debouto volleyed home a right wing cross from Tumelo Matona to put Tuks on the back foot.
Starting off with a classic 4-4-2 formation that saw all their five foreign imports starring, Cosmos created more of goal scoring chances in the opening half as both teams matched each other blow for blow.
Veteran Zambian striker, Collins Mbesuma restored parity for AmaTuks midway through the second period when he coolly converted a penalty after Cosmos defender, Sicelo Hlatshwayo had upended Kevin Maswanganyi in the box.
The home team regained their lead with only eight minutes of regulation time remaining, when substitute Sicelo Mkhize took advantage of a goalkeeping mistake by Clive Gumede to slot the ball into an empty net.
Efforts by either side to add to the score line were ineffective despite four extra minutes of stoppage time added.
Cosmos will know their next opponents in the Round of 32 when the draw is conducted by the Premier Soccer League (PSL) this week.
Nedbank Cup Qualifier, 30 November, 2019; Olen Park
JOMO COSMOS (1) 2 (Debouto 19’ Mkhize 82’)
UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA (0) 1 (Mbesuma 76’ pen.)
Referee: Cheslin Plaatjies
COSMOS: Khoza – Matona, Hlatshwayo, Lebahi, Hanamub – Mabula (C), Kgope, Fredericks (KG Ndlovu 77’), Ohizu (Mkhize 68’) – Debouto Omeke (Gerald Ndlovu 61’).
SUBS NOT USED: Hilary Nyathi, Grishin, Nkosi, Sicholo.
COACH: Jomo Sono
AMATUKS: Clive Gumede – Claudio de Almeida ©, John Tshabalala, Siphamandla Nzuza, Samuel Julies – Thabang Chuene (Kamohelo Mahlatsi 46’), Athenkosi Dlala, Kevin Maswanganyi, Dlozi Ndaba (Pogiso Mahlangu 77’) – Nqobeko Dlamini (Singnikhi Mpedi 65’), Collins Mbesuma.
SUBS NOT USED: Yurie Mortimer, Katlego Mohamme, Clifford Ngobeni, Ludumo Nkebe.
COACH: Zipho Dlangalala
BOOKED: Lebahi, Ndaba, Hlatshwayo