/ 5 March 2008

Cosmos held by 10-man Stars

Jomo Cosmos again showed why they are in the relegation zone when 10-man Free State Stars held them to a goalless draw at the Oppenheimer Stadium in Orkney on Wednesday.

Stars had the better chances but good goalkeeping by Cosmos keeper Avril Phali denied them victory, while his counterpart, Kennedy Mweene, also made timely saves to earn his team a valuable point.

It was all Stars in the first half. In the 10th minute Moses Mbuyane shot straight at goal but Phali put his foot out to deny the nippy striker a goal. Six minutes later Mbuyane was again on the edge of the area, but this time his rocket deflected off a Cosmos defender.

In midfield Amos Ngcobo dictated terms for the visitors as Mbuyane and Prince Olumu ran tirelessly at Valery Nahayo and Thapelo Tshilo.

After 20 minutes, Ngcobo went on a surging run that bemused Phali’s defence, but his cross was easily cut out and they had to start over again. Olumu then flashed a header wide from a long throw-in and Cosmos’ leaky defence looked likely to cave in.

With less than 10 minutes to go Stars went up in numbers for their third corner of the match. The ball kindly fell to the feet of Ngcobowho, who hit it hard but just inches past Phali’s upright.

Stars defender Sipho Nkosi got a second yellow card for a foul five minutes before half-time and this gave Cosmos room to attack. Although they camped in Stars’ half, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Nkosinathi Nhleko both missed good chances to put Ezenkosi in the lead.

The 10-man Stars looked relieved to go in to the break with the scores level.

Cosmos started the second half like they ended the first, in a flurry, but their early pressure got them nothing as Stars took off striker Kingston Nkhatha and replaced him with defender Christopher Tsotsetsi.

With scoring chances wasted by both sides, Cosmos remain in 15th place while Stars stay in third. — Sapa