Cosmos conquest continues

2011-03-19 19:41

Promotion-chasing Jomo Cosmos need just a point from their remaining three games to run away with the National First Division Inland Stream following this victory, which also stretched their unbeaten run in five matches.

Well-taken strikes by Norman Smith (10th minute) and ­Malian sharpshooter Souleymane Diabate (30th minute) in the opening half did the damage as FC AK fell to their third successive defeat yesterday, a loss that effectively ended their slim hope of a play-off spot.

The chasing duo of Black Leopards and University of ­Pretoria, who are second and third on the table respectively, also scored vital wins yesterday to set the pace among the top three, as the runners-up across the two streams also earned a qualifying berth in the promotion/relegation play-off.

Leopards won 2-1 against Witbank Spurs while Tuks beat Batau United 4-2.

Not even the heavy downpours around Gauteng could deter FC AK and Cosmos from playing a free-flowing game, which the sizeable crowd that filled the main stand of the compact ­venue approved of.

While Cosmos did not necessarily convert all their chances, FC AK will be rueful when reflecting on their wasted opportunities on the day, particularly Kyle Koert, who should have buried his effort when his side were chasing an equaliser.

Koert was central to his side’s attacks but the Cosmos defence, marshalled by Malian international Ousmane Berthe, refused to surrender their proud record, having let in just 11 goals in 18 games.

While FC AK continued to miscue their efforts, it was the log leaders who extended their lead through their leading ­scorer, Diabate. He increased his tally to seven as Cosmos moved inches closer to the promised land.

Ezenkosi partly owed their achievement yesterday to their veteran goalkeeper Avri Phali, who thwarted a late rally from FC AK in the closing stages of the second stanza and followed up with a solid display in the preceding half to preserve his side’s lead.

The introduction of one-armed winger Andries Mosehle in the second stanza added to the home side’s continuous forays.

He came close with a headed effort with five minutes before the end but the midfielder, who lost his hand in an accident at a young age, could not direct his attempt on target.

In a bid to detabilise the maurauding FC AK, Cosmos coach Jomo Sono was forced to call into action the experience of Thabiso Hlalele to counter with an equally attack-minded player.

In the end, it was Mosehle who was the focal point when he netted the game’s best strike in injury time.

His left-footed curling shot past a hapless ­Phali came shortly after his teammate Martin Moonsamy was dismissed for a second bookable offence.


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