Cosmos sink Wits to advance

Jomo Cosmos advanced to the Nedbank Cup quarterfinals after stunning Bidvest Wits 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 stalemate on Tuesday evening.

Ezenkosi had hosted the Clever Boys in the last 16 encounter which was played at the Tsakane Stadium in Johannesburg.

The visitors did most of the attacking in the opening stages of the game, while Cosmos were happy to sit back and launch counter-attacks.

A good move in the 23rd minute saw Mgakolodi Ngele’s cross finding his Wits teammate Cuthbert Malajila, who headed wide of the target.

The Clever Boys were finding it difficult to penetrate the Ezenkosi defence. So they resorted to playing crosses into the Cosmos box for their main striker Malajila.

In the 34th minute, Siboniso Gaxa made an overlapping run, before playing a dangerous low cross which was cleared away by Cosmos defender Shane Thompson.

The Cosmos defence which was marshalled by giant centre back Frederic Nsabiyumva, who was showing off his aerial prowess for the home side.

A counter-attack move led by Matsilele Sono saw Linda Mntambo scoring from a rebound on the stroke of halftime and Cosmos were leading 1-0 at the interval.

Wits head coach Gavin Hunt made a double substitution during the break – introducing pacey wingers Phakamani Mahlambi and Daine Klate.

The home side continued to defend too deep as they looked to catch the Clever Boys defence napping again and double their lead.

But Wits equalized in the 66th minute when Klate’s corner-kick was headed home by Ngele, who made it 1-1, netting his third goal in this year’s tournament in the process.

A quick free-kick by the visitors twelve minutes later saw Klate break down the left-hand side, but his cross was collected by Cosmos goalkeeper Thabo Modiba.

Nevertheless, Cosmos managed to contain Wits until the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time and extra-time followed.

Wits keeper Moeneeb Josephs superbly parried away Cosmos midfielder Denzil Haoseb’s powerful effort from a free-kick in the first-half of extra-time.

The best chance of the second-half of extra-time went to Ngele, who was brilliantly denied by Modiba and ultimately, a penalty shootout followed.

Modiba was the hero for Cosmos as he saved S’fiso Hlanti’s spot-kick to ensure that Ezenkosi emerged 5-4 winners on penalties.

Cosmos (1) (Mntambo 45+1′)

Wits (0) 1 (Ngele 66′)

Cosmos: Modiba, Nsabiyumva, Thompson (Gebhardt 59′), Lebahi, Mntambo, Makobela, Lingwati, Sono, Haoseb, Maluleke (Sithole 59′), Macuphu (Madonsela 115′).

Wits: Josephs, Khumalo, Ngele, Hlanti, Mkhwanazi, Shongwe (Klate 46′, Pelembe 82′), Ntshangase, Myeni, Gaxa, Uzoenyi (Mahlambi 46′), Malajila.

This article was sourced from the PSL website.

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