Santos face relegation battle
Erwin Isaacs (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Santos beat Jomo Cosmos 1-0 at the Athlone Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but will still go into the play-offs after Ajax Cape Town lost to Black Leopards.
Leopards finished 14th, while Santos ended in 15th spot and will go into the play-offs with teams finishing second and third in the NFD.
The home side started the game with urgency, against a Cosmos side made up of several fringe players.
The People’s Team had the first opportunity to score, but after five minutes Erwin Isaacs pushed his shot wide of goal as Ezenkosi keeper Buti Khoza rushed out to close the angle.
The hosts had an even better chance after 20 minutes, but having received the ball in space at the back post, Jonathan Armogam saw his shot cleared off the line by Thabo Mokgalushi.
Cosmos then began to settle down and enjoy some time on the ball.
However, it was the Cape side who came close to scoring before the half time break when Bheki Shabangu nearly picked out Nasief Morris at the back post.
The deadlock was broken in the 47th minute when Shabangu headed home from Skippers’ inviting cross.
Salmaan King had the chance to extend the lead to two in the 58th minute, but having run 40 yards on goal, he blasted his shot way over the bar.
The game then tapered off somewhat as chances became a rarity.
Possession remained shared as both teams attacked, but both goals remained untested, until the final minutes when Santos had two chances to extend their lead, but King headed over the bar and Riaan Eugene shot straight at the Cosmos keeper as the match ended 1-0 to the hosts. Santos (0) 1 (Shabangu 47’)
Jomo Cosmos 0 Santos:
(4-4-2) Touray; Barends, W Arendse, Morris, Skippers; Armogam (Sopio 86‘), T Arendse, Chimodzi, King; Isaacs (S Arendse 83‘), Shabangu (Eugene 79’) Cosmos:
(4-4-2): Khoza; Kwenene, Mokgalushi, Mavasa, Maseko; M Nhlapo, Sono, Tukane, Manzini (M Sono 60‘); S Nhlapo Taongo (Burds 34’)