Thu, 10 Apr 2008
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Santos to join SuperSport on top?


Santos can move level with Absa Premiership leaders SuperSport United if they defeat Jomo Cosmos at the Athlone Stadium on Friday night (kick-off 8pm).

'The People's Team' are just three points behind 'Matsatsantsa' and could join them on 44 points if they manage to overcome a stubborn Cosmos side in Cape Town.

The arrival of Major David Bright has transformed Santos' season. They have won seven of their last eight league matches and, following SuperSport's defeat to AmaZulu, they are now right in the mix as far as the title race is concerned.

'The People's Team' easily dealt with the relegation-threatened Black Leopards in their last outing, cruising to a 4-0 win that demonstrated the confidence with which Bright has his charges playing. And they will surely be expected to deal with Leopards' fellow strugglers Jomo Cosmos in a similar manner.

Santos midfielder Thando Mngomeni, though, is taking nothing for granted. He is looking forward to Friday's encounter, but knows what Cosmos are capable of.

"Cosmos are always tough to face. They may be battling at the bottom of the table, but they are the type of team that can turn it on when they want to," Mngomeni told the official Santos website.

He added: "We'll have to be careful in our approach. A win is important for both teams. They want the points to move away from relegation; we need the points to strengthen our challenge for the title."

Santos, however, are facing an immovable object in Cosmos. 'Ezenkosi' have not conceded a single goal in their last seven league and cup matches, as Jomo Sono has gone about turning his backline into the meanest in the country at present.

Their problem remains scoring goals: a 1-1 draw with SuperSport on February 20 was the last time Cosmos scored in the Absa Premiership and in their goalless match with Orlando Pirates at the weekend (amazingly their fifth 0-0 league draw in succession), Sono's side never really looked like finding the back of the net.

Cosmos assistant coach Collen Tlemo is aware of this problem, but he believes that it is just a matter of time before his team puts away the chances they create.

"In the game against Pirates, we showed we can play good football. We were able to create chances and get into the box. That is what we should always do in all the remaining games," Tlemo told the official Cosmos website.

"Santos are playing very well at the moment and have been unstoppable since Major Bright took over. We are bracing ourselves for a tough one indeed since we are playing away.

"Our results against them down there are not very good and we must change that. The wind has always been a factor but now that we are aware of those conditions we have to try and work out a solution and overcome that and, hopefully get a result," concluded Tlemo.

In terms of head-to-head statistics, Santos have the edge. The Cape side has won 12 matches to Cosmos' nine in their 27 league games since 1991, outscoring their opponents 40 goals to 33.

Match preview by Backpagepix/PSL website



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