Amakhosi fail to take full advantage of a 10-man Jomo Cosmos and settle for a thrilling draw

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A 10-man Jomo Cosmos held Kaizer Chiefs to a 1-1 draw in an exciting PSL match at King's Park Soccer Stadium in Durban on Saturday night.

This was the first of many Chiefs matches to be played in KwaZulu-Natal this season.

Amakhosi have opted for the coast this season due to renovations of stadiums in Gauteng for the 2010 World Cup. After Saturday's match, Chiefs supporters must be asking themselves if their team will ever beat Cosmos this season.

Cosmos were reduced to 10 men after Liberian international Anthony Laffor was shown the red card for a second bookable offence by referee Charl Theron on 55 minutes.

The least said about Theron's decisions on the day, the better. The match was a thriller, with both teams dishing out some exciting football.

Ezenkosi dominated the first half and Chiefs turned things around in the second stanza. But what was even more exhilarating was the confidence shown by Mushin Ertugral by throwing a young Itumeleng Khune into the deep end against Cosmos, who are normally tough opponents for Chiefs. Not many coaches would have played a young keeper in such a match and Ertugral should be commended for the decision.

The first chance of the game fell to Cosmos striker Davis Mwape, who was a thorn in Chiefs' defence every time he was in possession.

In the 22nd minute, he unleashed a powerful shot that hit the crossbar with Khune well beaten.

Ezenkosi mounted the pressure and it was not surprising when they were awarded a soft penalty on 38 minutes. Theron judged former Cosmos defender Mokete Tsotetsi to have fouled Mwape inside the penalty area.

Laffor converted the penalty kick to put Cosmos in the lead. But their joy was short-lived as Shaun Bartlett equalised for Amakhosi three minutes later.

Ten minutes into the second stanza, Laffor was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence when he fouled David Mathebula.

However, a 10-man Cosmos held on until the end for yet another draw for the two top PSL sides.