cosmos back

Mesh Khotha

Mesh Khotha

Jomo Cosmos are back in the Premiership after spending only one season campaigning in the National First Division.

Ezenkosi were crowned the overall NFD champions after defeating Carara Kicks 2-1 in their second-leg match of the playoffs at Vaal University of Technology Stadium yesterday.

The two sides played to a goalless draw in the first leg at Charles Mopeli Stadium in Namahadi, QwaQwa, on Thursday night.

As was the case with the first leg, Cosmos lodged a protest before yesterday's match claiming that Akeem Olubamiro was not properly registered with Kicks. Olubamiro was brought on as a substitute for Sifiso Sithole in the 37th minute.

Cosmos protested about the same player on Thursday but their case was dismissed by the Premier Soccer League disciplinary committee on Saturday morning. Cosmos owner-coach Jomo Sono intends appealing the decision.

Kicks general manager Basil Mohalane and club boss Motebeng Mokoena are adamant that Olubamiro was properly registered with the club.

Kicks were the first to score through Tshepo Tomanyane in the eighth minute. Cosmos equalised through Evans Gwekwerere a minute later.

The all-important goal also came from Gwekwerere in the 52nd minute.

Kicks will now participate in the Platinum playoffs.

In a post-match interview with Sowetan, Sono said: "First of all, we will continue with the protest as a matter of principle.

"It [winning promotion] is a great achievement for me. After losing more than 21 players when we were relegated last season it was not an easy job for me to get back to the Premiership within a year," he added.

"When we were relegated to the First Division I was a villain, today I'm a hero. I strongly believe in my ability as a coach.

"Congratulations to all the players for being part of the team throughout the season. We are going back to the drawing board to plan for the new season.

"I want to thank my ancestors too," said Sono when he was presented with the R300000 cheque for being the overall National First Division winners.