AmaKhosi sweat for victory

Kaizer Chiefs looked set to squander two points until an 89th minute goal secured a 2-1 win over Jomo Cosmos at the FNB Stadium on Saturday night.

Chiefs dominated most of the game, but missed several chances, with Bernard Parker also failing from the penalty spot.

When Bethuel Tukane’s 82nd minute strike cancelled out Lehlohonolo Majoro’s early goal, it looked like a disappointing night for Chiefs, until Jostya Dladla stole in at the death.

Chiefs couldn’t have asked for a better start – with barely a minute on the clock, Bernard Parker sprinted down the right and squared for Majoro, whose clever flick was steered in off the inside of the far post.

AmaKhosi seemed very much in control early on, although Jomo Sono’s side did have a good chance after 15 minutes when Nonyane outsprinted and out-muscled Thomas Sweswe, putting himself one-on-one with Ithumeleng Khune. The Bafana Bafana goal minder however came out trumps as he bravely dived at the Cosmos man’s feet to make the block.

It came at a cost however – Khune picked up a knock and was forced to go off five minutes later, replaced by Arthur Bartman.

Cosmos’ return to the Premiership was proving a baptism of fire though as AmaKhosi enjoyed most of the play, rarely letting their opponents in to their own half.

The Soweto side were stroking the ball around nicely and continued to get in some dangerous balls from the right flank, which gave Ezenkosi problems but did not result in any further chances.

The next clear-cut opportunity came in the 33rd minute when Keegan Ritchie jinked down the left and fed Parker, who curled a shot just wide.

Cosmos had a good chance for an equaliser five minutes before the break after Bartman parried Siyabonga Nontshinga’s header out to Phethego Maebela, but he blasted wide from only five yards out.

Soon after Siphiwe Tshabalala could have doubled Chiefs’ lead - but with only Phali to beat, he sent in a rather tame shot.

It didn’t take the home side too long to find their rhythm in the second stanza – in the 52nd minute Tshabalala steamed forward, bearing straight down on goal - his shot was well struck, but too close to Phali.

A couple of minutes later Tshabalala was again in action, this time seeing Phali making an even better save as the veteran keeper kept his side in the contest.

AmaKhosi had the chance to earn some breathing space after 72 minutes when Majoro drew Nontshinga into a foul.

But Parker, using his arguably weaker right foot, shot straight at Phali, who saved with his legs.

The miss, and several subsequent half-chances, came back to haunt the Glamour Boys when Cosmos equalised on 81 minutes, Bethuel Tukane striking with a spectacular curling shot into the top corner.

There was some late pressure from AmaKhosi as they tried to restore their lead, but both Jimmy Tau and Majoro were unable to capitalise with chances close on goal as they both miscued their efforts.

It seemed as if Chiefs were going to have to settle for a point, but with two minutes of regulation time left, Tshabalala sprinted down the left and put the ball on a plate for Josta Dladla to slot into an empty net.

Cosmos ended with 10 men after Siyabonga Nhlapo’s last minute red card.

Kaizer Chiefs (1) 2 (Majoro 2’, Dladla 89’)
Jomo Cosmos (0) 1 (Tukane 83’)

TEAMS

Chiefs (4-4-2): Khune (Bartman 23’); Tau, Sweswe, Isaacs, Ritche; Masango (Dladla 66’), Nengomasha, Yende, Tshabalala – Parker (Baloyi 75’), Majoro

Cosmos (4-4-2): Phali; Pila, Nhlapho, Maebela; Moloto (Dlamini 81’);, Loke (Sono 66’), Shabalala, Hlalele (Nhlapo 56’), Tukane; Nonyane, Nontshinga