Jomo Cosmos kicked off their 2019-2020 Glad Africa Championship (GAC) campaign on a high after battling to a goalless stalemate away to TS Galaxy at Kameelrivier Stadium last Sunday.
Newly-signed Ezenkosi defender, Tumelo Matona put up a gutsy performance to win the Man of the Match award in the first televised game of a repackaged South African second-tier league.
Tumelo, recently acquired from Baberwa FC, was one of five new debutants thrown into the fray by Cosmos boss Jomo Sono, and the hard man did not disappoint as his timely tackles and cool composure kept TS Galaxy’s attackers at bay.
Ezenkosi goalkeeper, Melusi Buthelezi also made several crucial saves to deny Sizwe Mdunzo and Terrence Mashego particularly in a highly-charged second stanza to keep the visitors in the game.
The game kicked off to a frantic start in a near-packed Kameelrivier with the home side dictating the pace in the early minutes as front men Shangase and Setsile threatened to break the deadlock but met a resilient Cosmos back line comprising three debutants including Cosmos Academy product, Branden “Tower” Matsila, Tumelo “Super” Matona, former Free State Stars centre back, Thabo Makhele and Namibian international, Riaan Hanamub.
In the middle of the pack, Captain Ange Lebahi marshaled proceedings for Ezenkosi with support coming from Tebogo Mabula, Tumi Ngwepe, Seun Ledwaba and new boy, Moses “Jomo” Mokasi.
Mokasi later exited the game early in the second half following a flu-related problem, and was replaced by Mduduzi Sibeko, whose entry ignited Ezenkosi’s midfield and created more attacking space for lone front man, Matsilele Junior Sono.
Cosmos were able to carve out a few goal scoring chances though, but substitute Bonginkosi “Jomo” Gumede’s long range effort was punched into touch by Mpakumpaku, while Seun Ledwaba fired off target from inside the box.
The 0-0 result meant Cosmos are yet to beat The Rockets in four meetings between the sides so far. Last season Galaxy beat Sono’s men 1-0 in the league and enjoyed a similar score line in the quarterfinals of the Nedbank Cup. Their first ever league clash ended 2-2 at Kameelrivier.
Meanwhile, Ezenkosi’s next fixture will be away to University of Pretoria on 1st September, 2019.
Glad Africa Championship, 18 August, 2019; Kameelrivier Stadium
TS GALAXY 0
JOMO COSMOS O
TS GALAXY: Ludwe Mpakumpaku – Aubass, Nduli, Dube, Bodibe – Masheso, Mdunzo, Nyama, Nation Ndlovu, Shangase (Lucas 68’), Setsile.
COACH: Dan Malesela
COSMOS: Melusi Buthelezi – Branden Matsila (Bafana Tshawe 90+3), Tumelo Matona, Thabo Makhele, Riaan Hanamub – Ange Lebahi (Capt), Tebogo Mabula, Seun Ledwaba, Moses Mokasi (Mduduzi Sibeko 49’), Tumi Ngwepe (Bonginkosi Gumede 72’) – Matsilele Junior Sono.
SUBS NOT USED: Buti Khoza, Kagiso Ndlovu, Ongelethu Somtsewu, Xhanti Mesana.
COACH: Jomo Sono