Jomo Cosmos head into the international break still without a win in their last four matches after going down to high-flying Stellenbosch FC in a thrilling NFD contest last Saturday.
The Cape Town side emerged 3-2 winners at Idas Valley Stadium to open up a four-point gap at the top of the NFD log pending the outcome of Sunday’s round of matches.
Fans sat at the edge of their seats in a game that saw Ezenkosi coming twice from behind to pull level before substitute Deano Van Rooyen struck the final goal for Stellenbosch with 10 minutes left to play.
Cosmos showed attacking intent from the blast of the whistle as front men Charlton Mashumba and Chibuike Ohizu combined well with the midfield quartet of Seun Ledwaba, Tebogo Mabula, Junior Sono and Silas Maziya to put Stellenbosch on the backfoot.
However, it was the hosts who grabbed the opening goal after 12 minutes when hot shot Iqraam Rayners struck to break the deadlock.
Ezenkosi responded swiftly, and following some beautiful interplay in midfield, were back on level terms five minutes later when Mashumba converted Mpumelelo Zondi’s fine pull out to score his third goal of the season.
Stellenbosch regained their slim advantage in the 38th minute through Leletu Skelem to take a 2-1 lead at the break.
The visitors came back stronger in the second stanza dictating the pace of the game, and were duly rewarded after 23 minutes when Tebogo Mabula fired in a rebound to restore parity yet again.
But any hopes of Ezenkosi stealing a point was extinguished when substitute Deano Van Rooyen took advantage of a defensive lapse to crack home the winning goal.
The victory took leaders Stellenbosch to 23 points as they opened up a four point gap at the top of the log pending the outcome of Sunday’s round of matches.
Cosmos, meanwhile, slipped down to 9th in the league standings with 14 points in 11 matches.
Ezenkosi have a chance to put their NFD campaign back on track when they host Real Kings FC on November 25 after the international break.
NFD, 10 November, 2018; Idas Valley Stadium STELLENBOSCH FC (2) 3 Rayners 12’ Skelem 38’ Deano 79’
JOMO COSMOS (1) 2 Mashumba 17’ Mabula 68’
STELLENBOSCH: Lee-Raoul Langeveldt – Bongane Mathabela, Sibusiso Mthethwa, Mogamad De Goede, Zwelethu Ndlovu (Tony Zwane) – Leletu Skelem (Ashley Du Preez), Jarrod Moroole, Junior Awono, Nkanyiso Zungu – Iqraam Rayners, Abednigo Mosiatlhaga.
SUBS NOT USED: Alan Robertson, Angelo Kerspuy, Lerato Lepasa, Dalyan Hawks.
COACH: Steve Barker
COSMOS: Chibwe – Zondi, Hlatshwayo, Lebahi ©, Tshawe – S Ledwaba, Mabula, Jnr Sono (Mncube), Maziya (Ngwepe) – Mashumba, Ohizu (Mpontshane).
SUBS NOT USED: Buthelezi, Kg Ndlovu, S. Nkosi, 4 Omphile Ledwaba
COACH: Jomo Sono
BOOKED: Zondi, Tshawe