Cosmos down Chiefs in Orkney
Jomo Cosmos? relentless charge towards making a strong finish continued when they recorded their fourth successive victory in the New Year as they beat Kaizer Chiefs 2-1 in a thrilling Castle Premiership match at a packed Orkney Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After dilly-dallying to find a suitable venue to host ?Amakhosi? and its hordes of faithful fans, the decision by club boss and coach Jomo Sono to take the game to the people of Potchefstroom and surrounding areas paid dividends as they were well entertained.
And if every game can shimmer with such drama with shoving duels between the players, three well-taken goals and minute-by-minute excitement, then supporters will once again flock to watch the beautiful game.
Overflowing with confidence after a flawless start to 2007 despite losing the predatory Chris Katango, Cosmos were in a mean mood as they matched their counterparts pound to pound.
Taking the captain's armband proved a masterstroke for Sam Magalefa as he bottled up wonder-boy Siyabonga Nkosi.
For Chiefs, they might have scored that much-awaited 500th goal through the reliable Ditheko Mototo, but their chances of winning the title are getting slimmer by the day as they have now lost four points against Cosmos.
For coach Middendorp, who has not beaten Cosmos, the injury to Shaun Bartlett has compounded the situation as Kaizer Motaung Jnr remains the only possible saviour but failed this time around.
After a telling cross from Nkosi, Motaung failed to connect with error-prone goalkeeper Abiasa Shiningayamwe well beaten. Defender Patrick Mayo was also unlucky when his low shot went inches wide after a corner kick.
But it was Cosmos who took the lead when the Chiefs defence was left in tatters as they allowed winger Sydney Plaatjies to head home unmarked to the dismay of the temperamental Middendorp to make the score 1-0 in the 22nd minute.
But Chiefs were determined not to be outdone as they fought gallantly and it was not a fluke when they started to bombard the Cosmos defence, searching for that equalising goal. And when it came, it was a tenacious effort by Mototo, who scored a cheeky goal to level the score.
?Ezenkosi? were brilliant on the counter-attack and the winner by striker Calvin Kadi, his second on the trot, exposed Chiefs? sloppy rearguard as he outran them to beat Rowen Fernandez after Bamuza Sono?s clever through-ball two minutes before half time.
In the second half, Nkosi was at his audacious best as he twice came close to scoring but Shiningayamwe denied him.
From Mayo?s cross, the Bafana Bafana midfielder beat the Cosmos defence but his tame shot went wide. With his second attempt, he again turned the Cosmos defence inside out but failed to beat Shiningayamwe once again.
The introduction of dribbling wizard Scara Ngobese for defender Jimmy Tau, somewhat shocking, and David Radebe and Derrick Spencer for the injured Siphiwe Mkhonza and struggling Arthur Zwane respectively, did nothing to dismantle the more determined Cosmos side. As for Chiefs, a Herculean task awaits if they are to clinch the title at the end of the season.
Cosmos could have added more woes in the dying minutes after classy winger Dikgang Mabalane was left unmarked but his thunderbolt shot was saved by Fernandez.
Cosmos (4-4-1-1): Abiasa Shiningayamwe, Gerald Mtshali, Mokete Tsotetsi, Thapelo Tshilo, Valery Nahayo, Sam Magalefa, Sydney Plaatjies, Anthony Laffor (Alois Bunjira), Dikgang Mabalane, Bamuza Sono, Calvin Kadi.
Coach: Jomo Somo
Chiefs: (4-4-1-1): Rowen Fernandez, Cyril Nzama, Jimmy Tau (Scara Ngobese 55), Patrick Mayo, Siphiwe Mkhonza (Derrick Spencer 70), Arthur Zwane (David Radebe 70), Tinashe Nengomashe, Ditheko Mototo, Siybonga Nkosi, Kaizer Motaung Jnr, Gert Schalkwyk.
Coach: Ernst Middendorp
Referee: Jonas Nhlapo
Cautions: Tshilo 17, Nahayo 33, Magalefa 60
By Patrick Baloyi