Absa Premiership

Stars-Cosmos stalemate leaves Leopards in charge

2018-05-23 23:30
Jomo Sono (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Platinum Stars and Jomo Cosmos played to a goalless stalemate in their Absa Premiership promotion/relegation match at Moruleng Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The result leaves Black Leopards in charge of the three-team tournament, with the Limpopo side on top of the log on four points.

Ezenkosi are second on two points, while Dikwena are placed third on one point and in need of something special to turn their fortunes around and avoid a drop to the National First Division.

The teams traded early half-chances, but the first genuine attempt on goal came from Cosmos’ Clifford Mulenga in the 13th minute, as the Zambian provided a fine turn and shot to test Stars goalkeeper Dino Visser.

Ten minutes later the best chance of the half was presented to Dikwena’s Bongi Ntuli: he was given a clear sight of goal from close range after great work by Letsie Koapeng to tee him up, but the striker was denied by a fine save from King Ndlovu.

Ntuli went on to ‘fresh air’ from another glaring chance which arrived when Wangu Gome’s low cross from the right was allowed to pass through the danger area, while Riyaad Norodien also sent a fierce effort direct from a free kick just over the crossbar on 32 minutes.

The second half saw far fewer scoring opportunities, with both teams going into their shells somewhat as the tension of the match grew.

Stars continued to enjoy more of the ball, though it was Cosmos’ substitute Tebogo Tlolane who was the first to really threaten after the break, sending an effort from a free kick just over the target in the 69th minute.

The home side finally created a clear opening the in the second half when Koapeng beat the offside trap in the 82nd minute, but his low shot from the right side of the penalty area was well saved by Ndlovu.

The teams ultimately settled for a 0-0 draw. Stars will return to action at home on Saturday when they host Leopards, while Cosmos will be away to Lidoda Duvha next Wednesday.

Stars: Visser, Mpeta, Mthethwa, Mkhabela, Mnguni, Mekoa, Masalesa (Phiri 60’), Gome (Mere 89’), Koapeng, Norodien (Ng’ambi 86’), Ntuli

Cosmos: Ndlovu, Gebhardt, Lebahi, Lingwati, Laqwela, Obi, Haoseb, Makobela, Zungu (Hlongwane 60’), Mabula, Mulenga (Tlolane 60’)

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