Wiseman Maluleke receiving his Man of the Match Award on Saturday.
Jomo Cosmos dispatched United Rovers to move into the next round of the money-spinning Nedbank Cup with an easy 3-0 win at Tsalane Stadium last Saturday.
After surviving a first half scare from the Northern Cape minnows, Ezenkosi switched on in the second stanza with a brace from Man of the Match, Wiseman Maluleke, and a sublime free kick goal by Matsilele Sono Junior to seal comprehensive victory for the home side.
Cosmos boss, Jomo Sono gave some of his fringe players a run in the second half, as Karabo “Shakes” Mkhabela, Xola Mosiea and Khomotso “Deco” Marebane came in to add some thrill to the spectacle.
Rovers had a great chance to score midway through the first half, but a poorly taken penalty by Lindry Pylman was comfortably saved by Thabo Modiba after Denzil Haoseb had committed a foul in the box.
Cosmos had numerous chances to bury the game in the opening half, but a string of misses by Lefa Hlongwane, Linda Mntambo, Matsilele Sono, Wiseman Malulele, Tebogo Tlolane and overlapping left back Ange Lebahi meant both teams going into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
The home team continued to dominate proceedings on resumption, and precisely on the haour mark, Maluleke fired Cosmos in front with an easy tap in after Hlongwane’s initial effort from Tebogo Tlolane’s pass was deflected off the goal post.
A couple of minutes later, Maluleke got his quick-fire brace when he collected a lob from defence, raced down the left, and beat the onrushing Rovers goalkeeper, Auburn Oliphant to make it 2-0. It was Maluleke’s third goal of the competition following his lone strike at Magesi FC last December.
Three minutes later, Ezenkosi could have increased their lead but “Shakes” Mkhabela’s goal-bound shot was blocked as Rovers cleared their lines.
However, in the 71st minute, any chances of a Rovers comeback disappeared when Matsi Sono Junior scored from a direct free kick to give Cosmos a commanding 3-0 lead.
Cosmos will know their next opponents when the draw for the Round of 16 is held on Thursday, 16 March in Johannesburg.
SABC MAN OF THE MATCH: Wiseman Maluleke.
HOW THE TEAMS LINED UP
COSMOS (4-5-1): Davies Modiba – Tumisang Mashele, Frederic Nsabiyumva, Thato Lingwati, Ange Lebahi – Denzil Haoseb, Linda Mntambo (Karabo Mkhabela 46’), Matsilele Sono Jnr, Wiseman Maluleke (Khomotso Marebane 76’),Tebogo Tlolane (Xola Mosiea 73’) – Lefa Hlongwane
SUBS NOT USED: Williams Okpara Jnr, Mthokozisi Msomi, Nhlakanipho Khumalo, Mpho Rasilingwane.
COACH: Jomo Sono
ROVERS (4-4-2): Auburn Oliphant – Roman Job, Lindry Pylman, Benito Mackay, Muneeb Mackay – Melcolm Jooste, Elrico Louw (Tebogo Mahapa 57’), Rhonwen Fredericks (Ziaan Mackay 84’), Michael Davids – Ricardo Plaatjies, Wayne Mackay
SUBS NOT USED: Arrie Boesak, Zadren Slaverse, Rainy Swanepoel, Francois Rens, Van Staden Adriano
COACH: Freddie Oliphant
BOOKED: B. Mackay