Platinum Stars add to Cosmos woes

Platinum Stars kept up their challenge for a top-eight place with a 4-1 victory over Jomo Cosmos in their Absa Premiership clash at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday night.

The result almost certainly relegates Cosmos, who would now likely need to win at least three of their remaining four matches and having only won two this season to date, that seems a tall order.

Patrick Malokase scored a brace for the home side to go with a late penalty from Themba Ntumba and a goal from Sibusiso Msomi, while Robert Tomanyane netted a late consolation for Cosmos.

Both sides ended the match with 10 men after Malokase and Ousmane Berthe received deserved red cards, and it was in the end a comfortable win for the home team.

Stars came into the match on the back of five away League wins in a row, a club record, but just one win on their own patch in their last nine home games.

They also had revenge on their minds after losing to Cosmos in the reverse League fixture and also being dumped out of the Nedbank Cup by Ezenkosi on penalties in the second round.

Katleko Loke was missing for the visitors through suspension, a blow for them given his versatility and experience at this level.

Cosmos had also never won at Stars, losing three and drawing three of their previous six visits to the North West.

And the visitors made the worst possible start, allowing Malokase to waltz through the defence with a great solo run and finish neatly past a helpless Avril Phali.

It was a sixth goal in seven matches for the Orlando Pirates loanee, who must be one of the top domestic transfers of the January window and a major reason why Dikwena are still in the hunt for the top-eight.

And he improved that record further when he netted a second, this time with his head after being supplied with an excellent corner from Vuyo Mere.

It was disastrous defending from the visitors, with Malokase, one of the shortest players on the pitch, able to head home unopposed.

Cosmos had a rare opportunity near the end of the first half when Bamuza Sono managed a shot on target, but Jackson Mabokgwane was equal to his effort and made the save.

That was the start of some better play from the visitors and they carried it on into the second period, certainly beginning the half as the brighter of the two sides.

Siyabonga Nontshinga had the most notable effort, forcing a good save out of Mabokgwane.

Malokase was then shown a straight red card by referee Lwandile Mfiki for a crude two-footed lunge on Vincent Kobola that can leave him with no complaints. With just two matches remaining in the campaign, it means his season is over.

Cosmos continued to press and now with a numerical advantage were creating more chances.

Their pressure finally paid off when Tomanyane collected a pass from Nontshinga and scored from six-yards.

The comeback was short-lived though as Ousmane Berthe fouled Joseph Molangoane in the areas and received his marching orders, with Ntumba converting the resultant spot-kick.

The cherry on top came via a final goal from Msomi, who smashed the ball home from the edge of the box.

Stars are now just two points off eighth-placed AmaZulu, though the KwaZulu-Natal side do have a game in hand.

Platinum Stars (2) 4 (Malokase 12, 35 Ntumba 85’pen, Msomi 90’)

Jomo Cosmos (0) 1 (Tomanyane 81’)

Platinum Stars: Mabokgwane, Mere (Sambu 64’), Nkosi, Semenya, Ngwepe, Msomi, Mathe, Molangoane, Malokase, Mbatha (Phala 71’), Botes (Ntumba 74’)

Jomo Cosmos: Phali, Shabalala, Berthe, Tomanyane, Kobola, B Sono, Pila, Rusike (Tukane 58’), Dondo (Burds 62’), Nhlapho, Nontshinga (M Sono 85’)