Royal Eagles snatch stoppage time equalizer as Ezenkosi’s winless streak continues

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Royal Eagles scored in the last minute of stoppage time to deny Jomo Cosmos the maximum points as both teams ended their NFD contest on a 1-1 note at Makhulong Stadium last Sunday.

Xolani Mpontshane fired Cosmos into the lead midway through the first half when he rounded Eagles goalkeeper, Patrick Nyame to score his first goal for the team.

The home side seemed to be running away with the maximum points but the result slipped away when Eagles Captain, Philani Cele rose highest to nod home a corner kick in the last minute of stoppage time.

Both teams started on a cautious note, matching each other in every department, but with no clear cut chances in view.

However, with less than 20 minutes played, Seun Ledwaba was presented with a rare scoring opportunity after a good delivery from wing back Riaan Hanamub, but the Cosmos midfielder shot straight at the goalkeeper.

That miss seemed to provide the platform for another adventurous move by the home side, as, seven minutes later, young winger Onke Moletshe would lay on a pass for Xolani Mpontshane, who rounded up the goalkeeper before shooting home for the opening goal.

Eagles responded well from conceding, bombarding Ezenkosi’s goal area at will, but resilient defending by the Cosmos back line kept the score 1-0 at the break.

Ezenkosi dictated the early stages of the second half, but could not make it count.

Sifiso Nkosi should have made it 2-0 following a counter attack, but his point blank header missed target by inches.

Moments later, Hanamub overlapped down the left flank and unleashed a screamer which narrowly missed the post.

As the minutes ticked away, Eagles attacked more and showed intent and never gave up.

Their efforts would finally pay off in the third minute of stoppage time when captain Philani Cele nodded home a corner kick to restore parity.

The result meant Ezenkosi remained 12th on the NFD log while Eagles maintained their third position.

Cosmos are still searching for their first victory since beating Mbombela United in February.

MATCH STATS

NFD, 10 March, 2019; Makhulong Stadium 
JOMO COSMOS (1) 1 (Mpontshane 27’) 
ROYAL EAGLES (0) 1 (Nene 90+3) 
Ref: Luxolo Badi
COSMOS: Chibwe – Tshangane, Umukoro, Lebahi ©, Hanamub – S. Nkosi (Mbokoma 73’), Mabula, Maziya, Moletshe (KG Ndlovu 90+2) – Mpontshane (A. Nkosi 84’), S. Ledwaba.
SUBS NOT USED: Buthelezi, Tshawe, Mncube, Obi.
COACH: Jomo Sono
EAGLES: Patrick Nyame – Lesvin Stoffels, Samuel Manganyi, Philani Cele ©, Simphiwe Tshabalala (Shezi 81’) – Strydom Wambi, Dillan Solomons, Khanyisa Mayo (Sonke Ntuli 54’), Levy Mashiane (Mazwi Mncube 88’) – Mphakamiseni Nene, Diego Brown.
SUBS NOT USED: Celi Ndwandwe, Sbonelo Boyce, Tshepo Chauke, Mumuni Abubakar.
COACH: Sazi Ngubane
BOOKED: S. Nkosi, Solomons, Stoffels, Cele, Lebahi

-Mark Ogagan

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