Cosmos Qualify For Play-Offs, Ubuntu Back In Drop Zone
National First Division Wrap 29 April 2018
Jomo Cosmos qualified for the lucrative PSL playoffs with a 3-2 win over Super Eagles but Black Leopards lost 2-1 to NFD champions Highlands Park, while Richards Bay grabbed a crucial 2-1 success over relegation-threatened Ubuntu Cape Town.
In addition, Witbank Spurs and Real Kings both have a chance of finishing in the top three following victories over Mbombela United and Mthatha Bucks respectively.
In a five-goal thriller, Ezenkosi pushed hard during the opening stages with a number of sustained attacks but in the 26th minute - against the run of play - Ian Palmer’s side took the lead when Bongani Mbuli headed home a corner.
However, it wasn’t long before the scores were level via a Clifford Mulenga penalty, before Lefa Hlongwane and Tebogo Makobela helped Cosmos take a 3-1 lead.
Although Eagles made it 3-2 via Mlungisi Nkosi, the team were second best on the day and have to beat Mthatha at home next Sunday to avoid the chop.
The Lions of the North, without the suspended Junior Sibande, initially had a tough time at the hands of Lidoda Duvha, for whom Khuliso Mudau opened the scoring in the first period.
It was an intense game where Peter Shalulile and Thabo Motlafi eventually ensured victory for Highlands, which means Leopards will have to wait for their final match at home to Cosmos to see if they, too, are going to play in the same competition.
Siyavutha, thanks to Austin Dube’s winner without reply, are just two points behind Leopards, while Kings are in exactly the same situation after beating already-relegated Bucks 2-0.
There was also a five-goal thriller between University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch FC, despite this encounter having very little importance in the season standings.
By half-time, four goals had been scored with Steve Barker’s team leading 3-1 as a result of Iqraam Rayners’ brace and a single effort from Sekela Sithole.
AmaTuks added a second to make the final score 3-2.
Royal Eagles are safe after their 1-1 draw with Cape Town All Stars, but following a 2-1 defeat to Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila FC, Uthongathi FC still face a big test next Sunday against AmaTuks.