Cosmos crush Bloem Celtic
Benoni - Jomo Cosmos surged into the quarter-finals of the Telkom Knockout on Wednesday evening, defeating Bloemfontein Celtic 3-0 at the Sinaba Stadium.
Ezenkosi are yet to win in the Absa Premiership this season, but they will be confident of breaking that drought soon, after goals from Ousmane Berthe, Tshidiso Tukane and Katlego Loke saw them rack up a comprehensive win over Phunya Sele Sele.
Cosmos surged ahead early on, with defender Ousmane Berthe scoring direct from a free kick just outside the Celtic penalty area. Goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb could no nothing to stop Berthe’s shot but he was responsible for conceding the set piece in the first place, giving away an unnecessary foul.
An excellent Avril Phali save 20 minutes later kept Cosmos in the lead. The veteran goalkeeper got a hand to Letladi Madubanya’s long range rocket and managed to deflect onto the post before quickly getting up to claim the rebound.
Celtic made an unscheduled change ten minutes before the half-time break, with the injured Moses Spandeel making way for Clifford Mulenga. The Zambian made an almost immediate impact, as his corner kick handed Thabo Nthethe a heading chance that the defender placed just wide.
Ezenkosi surged into a 2-0 lead just a few minutes before the interval, with Katlego Loke turning home a goal-bound shot from Tshidiso Tukane. The stadium announcer credited the goal to Tukane but it did appear as if Loke got a touch before the ball crossed the goal-line.
Celtic coach Clinton Larsen made two attacking tactical changes early in the second half, sending on attacking midfielders Cecil Oersen and Lerato Manzine in place of Johannes Motlhaping and Thokozani Mshengu respectively.
The visitors’ positive initiatives almost paid quick dividends, but Mulenga put a snap shot just over the crossbar on 62 minutes. Celtic needed a quick goal to reignite their hopes but they simply lacked the necessary precision up front to trouble Phali and his back four.
And they soon found themselves three goals down, as Loke cracked home a low drive after some fine set-up play from Bamuza Sono. With the score at 3-0, Ezenkosi had effectively killed off the game and secured a place in the last eight alongside Santos, Orlando Pirates, Moroka Swallows, Bidvest Wits, Ajax Cape Town, Platinum Stars and Golden Arrows.
Jomo Cosmos (2) 3 (Berthe 6’, Tukane 43’, Loke 65’)
Bloemfontein Celtic 0
Jomo Cosmos: Phali; Kobola, Berthe, Tshilo, Nonyane, Pila, Sono (Ngwerume 73’), S. Nhlapo, Tukane, Loke (Rusike 74’), Nontshinga (Dondo 71’)
Bloemfontein Celtic: Tignyemb; Moleko, Nthethe, Motlhaping (Oersen 52’), Mahoa, Mshengu (Manzine 60’), Mkhwanazi, Madubanya, Mongala, Spandeel (Mulenga 35’), Mofokeng