Johannesburg - Jomo Cosmos have raised their hopes of making it to the PSL after beating Moroka Swallows 4-1 at the Vaal University of Technology Stadium on Sunday afternoon to go top of the playoff standings on goal difference.
A brace by Charlton Mashumba and one goal apiece from Thabo Ralebakeng and Brice Aka made all the difference for Ezenkosi, while Siyabonga Nomvethe netted for the visitors as the crowd was entertained with a fantastic match of football.
The visitors started like a house on fire as they gave goalkeeper Sherwin Naicker something to do when midfielder Lantshene Phalane delivered a cross in the sixth minute, but the keeper collected with ease.
However, three minutes later, the hosts tried to ruffle the Birds’ nest with their header going into the hands of Sage Stephens.
In the 11th minute, Vuyisile Wana, who scored a brace against Black Leopards last Wednesday, crossed the ball in search of Nomvethe, however, Bhele’s first touch was too strong.
Eight minutes later, Cosmos keeper Naicker denied Phalane from a long range and parried the ball to concede a corner.
A good passage of play by Cosmos in the middle of the park and good movement into the Birds’ half saw the hosts creating a great chance which Mashumba finished in the 24th minute by beating Stephens in his left corner.
Two minutes later, Nomvethe produced a great run, going past two Cosmos defenders into the penalty box, but he was denied by Naicker.
Following excessive pressure from the hosts, Swallows committed a foul on the left and Ralebakeng managed to beat Stephens to hand Cosmos a 2-0 lead as they headed to the tunnel.
Although Ezenkosi came back for the second half with hunger in search of goals, it was Nomvethe who found the back of the net after a beautiful build up and the veteran finished excellently in the 56th minute.
For the second time, Mashumba showed sharpness when he completed his brace following a wise move in creating space for himself on the d-line, his powerful shot gave Stephens no chance in the 65th minute, 3-1 for Jomo Sono’s men.
Cosmos continued to pile pressure on Craig Rosslee’s men and Mashumba combined with Aka in the 78th minute. A cross down the right from Mashumba following a mis-kick by Phalane managed to pick out Aka, who finished with a toe-poke to make it 4-1.
With one minute remaining, Naicker was called into action when he parried a powerful header from Larry Cohen to concede a corner as Ezenkosi bagged the three points.