/ 1 December 2009

Cosmos aim for Bucs upset

Jomo Cosmos, languishing at the bottom of the Absa Premiership, are planning to upset title-chasing Orlando Pirates when they clash at the Rand Stadium on Wednesday night.

According to Ezenkosi manager, Andrew Rabutla, there is a new spring in his players’ step ahead of the match against Bucs who hammered Cosmos 4-1 in the first round.

But stated Rabutla: ”We have matured in the Premier Soccer League since that defeat. It was our third match in the top flight since we won promotion and there will not be a repeat of that score.

”We are going to make it very difficult for Pirates. They are going to have to battle for 90 minutes.”

Cosmos coach Jomo Sono, one of the most famous former Buccaneers, watched Pirates and Moroka Swallows draw 2-2 at a rain soaked Orlando Stadium last Saturday night and has a plan up his sleeve to get the better of his former club.

Said Rabutla: ”Jomo spoke to the players at training and told them we can win this game. We believe if we close down the spaces we can record a major upset which will be the turning point of our season.”

The former Bafana Bafana defender stated like his coach Sono, that Cosmos were in the PSL to stay: ”We should have beaten [Mpumalanga Black] Aces in Witbank at the weekend, but had to be satisfied with a 0-0 draw.

”We created plenty of chances and the confidence is returning. We are determined to get away from the bottom of the log.”

Cosmos are happy with their new Swaziland signing, Mfamafuthi Bhembe, who made his debut against Aces in place of injured Sekou Camara who dislocated his shoulder in the 1-0 loss to Golden Arrows at the same venue last Wednesday.

”Bhelele impressed on debut and we have other players who are starting to come to the party that can cause problems for Pirates.”

Bucs coach Ruud Krol, came under fire from fans after he substituted striker Get Schalkwyk midway through the second half of the Swallows match.

Krol explained: ”Schalkwyk is fit at training but being fit for a match is different to training.

”I replaced Schalkwyk because he was tiring and we needed fresh legs. We were losing [2-1] when I replaced him out and we managed a draw, so the move worked.”

Pirates spokesman Mickey Modisane, appealed to his fans to give Krol a break: ”It is the coach’s job to make changes for the good of the team and the fans must respect the coach’s decisions.

”Everyone at the stadium believes he is a coach, but only one person — the coach — can pick the team and change the players and my plea to supporters is to support the coach and help the team.”

Modisane added that Bucs would not underestimate Cosmos: ”We cannot take any club in the league for granted. Cosmos are fighting for survival and that makes them even more dangerous.

”We cannot expect an easy game as we experienced in the first round. We are ready for a tough 90 minutes.”

Mamelodi Sundowns, who are on an unbeaten six match run, host second placed Santos at the Super Stadium in a clash that could do their title hopes and neighbours SuperSport United a big favour by beating the People’s Team.

Boebie Solomons’ Santos are the surprise team of the season. They are perched on 31 points — six behind top of the table United, and two ahead of Sundowns.

Kaizer Chiefs, who thumped BidVest Wits 3-0 at Milpark, play AmaZulu at Loftus. Usuthu, after two wins, crashed to 10-man Maritzburg United at the weekend and need points to stay clear of the relegation zone.

Said Amakhosi coach Vladimir Vermezovic: ”Every game is tough, especially playing three matches per week. AmaZulu will not be easy.”

In other matches on Wednesday: Moroka Swallows play Free State Stars at Dobsonville; Maritzburg entertain Platinum Stars at the Woodburn Stadium; Bloemfontein Celtic meet Wits at the Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, while Golden Arrows play Aces at the Chatsworth Stadium. — Sapa