Cosmos test for SuperSport

The Sinaba Stadium on Saturday night (8:15pm kick off) will not be a place forthe feint-hearted as Jomo Cosmos and SuperSport United go head to head.

Don’t expect any holds barred in this Absa Premiership encounter that maynot be the prettiest of affairs as two teams not afraid to mix it up go head to head.

It is however likely to be an absorbing affair between two of thecountrie’s most decorated coaches – three-time league title-winning Matsatsantsa mentor Gavin Hunt and the legendary Ezenkosi boss, Jomo Sono.

Cosmos, hoping to avoid relegation for the third time in five seasons, have sofar struggled this campaign – Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with AmaZulu was their first point from four games, and sees them occupying second-last position on the log table.

The score-less draw has become a hallmark of the club in the PSL in recent years and although it brought about a point, there is no hiding from the fact that Cosmos need to become more prolific in the opposition box.

Goalkeeper and skipper Avril Phali is doing his best to remain upbeat ahead ofthe game, but is calling on the attacking players to be more clinical.

“At least we have a point on the board now, that’s always good forour morale, but now we need to get a three-pointer.

“Our problem has been our scoring boots,” explained the veteran,“we can’t find them at the moment, and lady luck has been deserting us in front of goal.

“In football, most games see equal chances for both teams – what’s important is to convert one’s chances – then 100% you will win the game.

“Weknow we’re in for a challenge, because SuperSport are doing well, andthey are an experienced team, having won championships, but we are going to goout there and give it everything we have – we have a full strength squad ready to go.”

The Tshwane side go into the match in good spirits – a 3-0 home win over Black Leopards means United are currently second on the log standings, behind Mamelodi Sundowns.

Goals haven’t been a problem for SuperSport and it appears that in Atusaye Nyondo, who netted twice against Leopards, they may have uncovered a gem of a marksman.

Midfield hard-man Mogogi Gabonamong is a player typically in the Gavin Hunt mould – the former Santos man is a grafter and his contribution could be key on Saturday night.

The Botswana international is already bracing himself for a rough ride.

“With Cosmos one knows what to expect – a tough physical game.Because they have not done well so far, this will just make our job even more difficult, we know they are going to come at us, and the important thing is for us to up our intensity, even further than in our previous match.

“We have had a good start to the season, and the squad we have is gelling nicely. But that does not mean we can relax now, we need to keep our focus and intensity.”

Anthony Laffor and John Arwuah remained sidelined with injury, but with thelikes of Jabu Maluleka and Dispy Selolwane around, SuperSport should be able to plug the gaps, as they did against Lidoda Duvha.

“Yes, there are some key players out who will be missed, but the squad we have is good enough to cope,” claimed Gabonamong.