Jomo Cosmos kept their hopes of promotion to the PSL alive when they beat Moroka Swallows 4-1 at the Vaal Tech Stadium on Sunday. A brace from Charlton Mashumba and a goal apiece from Thabo Ralebakeng and Brice Aka, saw Cosmos claim a valuable three points.
Inspired by a packed and vocal home crowd, Cosmos dominated play from early on but Swallows always posed a threat with their quick front three. The first meaningful chance of the game came in the 18th minute, when Swallows midfielder Lantshane Phalane’s deflected shot was well saved by Cosmos keeper Sherwyn Naicker. But it would be Cosmos that would open the scoring in the 24th minute. Mushumba received the ball in the box and calmly slotted the ball past Swallows keeper Sage Stephens, to make it 1-0. Thabo Ralebakeng would double Cosmos’s lead in the 40th minute, when his tame freekick somehow managed to beat Stephens, in what should’ve been a regulation save from the Swallows keeper. Cosmos should’ve gone into the break with a three goal lead but Mntambo missed from close range, when it looked easier to score.
In the second half, Cosmos came out with the same intensity as they had in the first. Aka’s powerful shot in the 49th minute, went narrowly over the bar. Swallows were slowly getting back into the game and were beginning to look more threatening. The Dube Birds thought they had scored their opening goal in the 53rd minute but Siyabonga Nomvethe was correctly ruled offside. But Nomvethe would get his goal a few minutes later, when he combined with Lucky Baloyi and scored Swallows opening goal. Swallows now had a chance to turn the game around but in the 67th minute, Mashumba extended Cosmos lead. The Zimbabwean got on the end of a long ball and beat the Swallows defenders with some sublime skill before firing in a beautifully placed shot, to put Cosmos 3-1 up. Then in the 78th minute, Aka scored Cosmos 4th goal, with a delicately placed finish. Cosmos were now in an unassailable lead and Swallows hopes of a comeback were completely dashed. In injury time, Naicker made vital saves to deny Swallows and the game would have no further goals as Cosmos maintained their lead. The result sees Cosmos go to the top of the play-off log, thanks to a superior goal difference. The next game in the play-offs will take place on Wednesday, when Cosmos host Black Leopards.