Jomo Cosmos head into the international break on a high after beating 10-man Uthongathi FC 1-0 in a Match Day 24 NFD tie decided at Makhulong Stadium last Sunday.
Captain Ange Lebahi’s solitary goal in the opening minutes of the game was enough to secure maximum points as Ezenkosi eventually ended their 5-game winless streak.
Uthongathi were reduced to 10 men deep into the second half when midfielder Sibusiso Magaqa received his marching orders from referee Phelelani Ndaba following a clumsy challenge on Ezenkosi defender Nkululeko Tshangane.
The game got off to a frantic start with the home team desperately seeking their first win since early February as the midfield trio of Tebogo Mabula, Seun Ledwaba and Tumi Ngwepe combined with wingers Silas Maziya and Onke Moletshe to feed lone striker Xolani Mpontshane.
Their efforts were duly rewarded just six minutes into the game when Maziya’s craftily curled free kick was nodded into the net by Ange Lebahi, giving goalkeeper Edward More no chance.
Cosmos led 1-0 at the break but virtually had no attacking game plan in the second stanza as the visitors’ strike force led by Menzi Ndwandwe threw everything into the game but could not convert their chances into goals.
Ezenkosi goalkeeper, Mwenya Chibwe kept his team in the game with some outstanding saves for his 7th clean sheet of the campaign.
Substitute Sifiso Nkosi also blocked a goal-bound shot on the line to keep Uthongathi’s hungry attackers at bay.
The result kept Ezenkosi in 12th position with 28 points while Uthongathi slipped down to 6th.
Cosmos resume their NFD campaign after the FIFA break when they face Richards Bay at the Umhlathuze Sports Complex on March 31.
NFD, 17 March, 2019; Makhulong Stadium
JOMO COSMOS (1) 1 Lebahi 6’
UTHONGATHI FC 0
COSMOS: Chibwe – Tshangane, Lebahi ©, Umukoro, Hanamub – Mabula, S. Ledwaba, Maziya, Ngwepe (S. Nkosi 70’), Moletshe – Mpontshane (A. Nkosi 68’).
SUBS NOT USED: Buthelezi, KG Ndlovu, Gumede, Mncube, Jnr Sono.
COACH: Jomo Sono
UTHONGATHI FC: Edward More – Philani Shange © (Bafana Kali 56’), Thulani Ndlela, Njabulo Ngcobo, Cheslyn Jampies – Andile Khumalo, Celimpilo Ngema, Sibusiso Magaqa, Tshepo Liphoko (Francis Baloyi 53’), Pule Mmodi (Thato Khiba 78’) – Menzi Ndwandwe
SUBS NOT USED: Abram Ngcobo, Khayalethu Mjoli, John Tshabalala, Ntwenhle Zondo.
COACH: John Ferreira
BOOKED: Mabula, Moletshe, Magaqa, Ndwandwe, Ngema.
SENT OFF: Magaqa