Another oh-so-close for Cosmos

Jomo Cosmos did not take the chance to lift themselves off the bottom of the Absa Premiership, but at least they avoided defeat in their last game of 2012 when they played to a 2-2 draw with Santos at the Sinaba Stadium on Tuesday evening.

In the first 86 minutes of the match we only saw one goal, scored by Eleazar Rodgers three minutes into the second half, but it was all drama in the final minutes of the match as we saw the Ezenkosi equalise through Tshidiso Tukane, then take the lead thanks to Alton Meiring.

But Wayne Arendse spoiled the home side’s party when he scored an equaliser for Santos in the final seconds of the match.

The first 45 minutes saw the home side with the majority of the possession, but they failed to make their dominance count, especially early on, as they continued to give the ball away in the final third of the field because of some bad decision making or poor passing.

In fact, it was the People’s Team who looked the more threatening in the opening 25 minutes despite not seeing much of the ball.

Early on, chances on goal were few and far between. The first real goal scoring opportunity only arrived in the 17th minute when Bheki Shabangu got on the end of a right wing cross from Tyren Arendse.

The Santos man, though, failed to hit the target from only six-yards out as his header sailed just wide of the post.

Four minutes later and Rodgers should have given Santos the lead when he latched onto a loose ball in a goalmouth scramble that resulted from a corner-kick, but he fired over the bar from 12-yards out.

Rodgers was in the thick of the action again in the 25th minute when he let loose with a powerful 20-yard shot that sailed narrowly wide of the target.

Finally, more than half way through the first stanza, Cosmos started creating some chances of their own with Siyabonga Nontshinga the main threat in attack for the Ezenkosi.

In the 30th minute Nontshinga forced Ryan Harrison into the first real save of the night. The Cosmos attacker saw his 18-yard shot well saved by the keeper diving full stretch to his right to parry away the attempt.

Two minutes later and Nontshinga tried a cheeky lob from the edge of the box, but saw his effort just skim the right-hand post.

Cosmos definitely finished the stronger of the two sides going into the break but their coach, Jomo Sono, would have been upset that they did not use their possession more effectively.

He would have been even more upset when Sono saw his side go behind three minutes after the start of the second 45.

Some poor marking from the Cosmos defence saw Rodgers clinically head a Jurie Basie cross into the back of the net from six-yards out, 1-0.

Following the goal, the Ezenkosi really struggled to find their way back into the game. Credit, however, must go to the Santos defence as they kept the Cosmos attack at bay.

Consequently, struggling to break down the resilient defence of the People’s Team, the home side had to shoot from long range but with very little effect.

One such example was in the 60th minute when Siyabonga Nhlapo fired well over the crossbar from 25-yards out.

And then as the match looked to be dying out, Cosmos found an equaliser out of nowhere four minutes from time when Tukane superbly headed home a Bamuza Sono cross, 1-1.

This set up an exciting final couple of minutes as the Ezenkosi set out their stalls to find a winner, which they thought they achieved in the 90th minute when Meiring found the back of net from 12-yards out with a well-placed shot, 2-1.

However, seconds away from only their second victory of the league season, Wayne Arendse spoiled Cosmos’ party with virtually the last touch of the game, heading home a Graham King left wing cross to snatch a share of the spoils, 2-2.

Jomo Cosmos (0) 2 (Tukane 86’, Meiring 90’)
Santos (0) 2 (Rodgers 48’, W. Arendse 92’)


Cosmos: Phali; Berthe, Kobola (Burds 81’), Samb, Gaborone, Sono, Hlalele, Nhlapo, Wambi (Mkwanazi 63’), Nontshinga (Meiring 46’), Tukane

Santos: Harrison; Mponda, W. Arendse, Skippers (Bishop 62’), Basie, Van Beulen, Chimodzi, T. Arendse, Fransman (King 46’), Rodgers, Shabangu (Eugene 68’)