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SA SOCCER NEWS
Absa Champs take on Supa 8 winners 02/04/04
Although most of this weekend's attention is focussed on the titanic North vs South Absa Cup battle in the form of Chiefs vs Ajax on Saturday, there is a similar clash taking place on Sunday.

This comes in the form of another match-up between a Gauteng-based team and a Cape Town side, with Santos and Jomo Cosmos  squaring up to each other at the Athlone Stadium.

The People's Team are very unlikely to challenge for league honours this season, while the Ezenkhosi will have their work cut out to even secure a top 8 finish and therefore both sides will be extremely focussed on securing some glory by winning a cup.

Both clubs have won their fair share of cup competitions in recent seasons (five between them in the last four seasons), with Santos being the current holders of the Absa Cup, while Jomo Sono's men beat Moroka Swallows earlier in the season to win the maiden SAA Supa 8 competition.

Therefore Sunday's game promises to be a classic cup affair, and Cosmos boss Jomo Sono is looking forward to the game, despite the odds being tipped in favour of the home side.

"We have nothing to lose against them as two key factors will be at play. One: they are the defending champions of the Absa Cup. Two: they will be playing before their home crowd," he said on the Cosmos website.

"Cosmos will just play its normal game and leave the rest to God. Weve been playing well lately, and I see us maintaining that momentum against Santos," he said.

Manuel "Tico Tico" Bucuane will once again be the dangerman for Cosmos as the Mozambiquan has the ability to lift the rest of the Cosmos players.

Bucuane is, however, aware of the challenge that his team faces, both from the Cape weather and the Santos players.

"It's going to be a very difficult match, especially should it be one of those typical windy days in the Cape. Santos have always used their tall players to very good effect in windy conditions, and one has to respect that," he told the Cape Times.

"However, we'd love to go all the way in the cup, so hopefully we'll be able to cope with whatever they throw at us," the skipper added.

Tall Kenyan Musa Otieno was a noticeable absentee from Santos' last outing, the unimpressive 0-1 loss to Ajax, but he will return on Sunday to bolster the centre of the park for Boebie Solomons' men.

Solomons would have had a few stern words with his charges after their lackluster performance in the Cape derby, a game in which only veteran striker Jean Marc Ithier emerged with any degree of credibility for the People's Team.

Ithier will again be key to the Cape sides hopes on Sunday, although the burly Mauritian can expect a tough battle from the physical Cosmos defenders.

The last time these two teams met was back in February in a game that heralded five goals and fans at the Athlone Stadium on Sunday will be hoping for more of the same in what promises to be a classic cup battle between two clubs who are not scared to shy

 

 

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