cosmos fired up for Pirates

JOMO Cosmos are hoping the point earned at Mpumalanga Black Aces on Saturday is the spark that ignites the rest of their Absa Premiership season.

They will be out to fan the flames of a revival in tonight's home match against Orlando Pirates at Rand Stadium at 7.30. They will also be eager to bury the memory of a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Pirates in the first round of the league.

But it is difficult to see how Cosmos will register their second league victory against a Pirates side that is brimming with attacking flair.

The Buccaneers will also be desperate to capitalise on a rare lapse by runaway league leaders and defending champions SuperSport United, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Ajax yesterday.

Cosmos's administration manager Thabani Gumede described their draw against fellow strugglers Aces as "a turning point" and warned that they will be in relentless mood against Pirates.

They will take comfort in the fact that Pirates have conceded four goals in their past two games and were lucky to get a point in the original Soweto derby against Moroka Swallows on Saturday. They trailed the Birds 2-0 for the better part of that encounter.

However, Cosmos's task will not be made any easier by the likely return of tough-as-nails defender Lucas Thwala and stylish midfielder Teko Modise, who have been out with injuries.

Cosmos captain Avril Phali last week said Cosmos should return to their robust style of play if they are to stop the opposition from scoring and that is sure to send shivers down the spines of Bucs strikers, especially with experienced striker Katlego Mashego sitting this one out because of suspension.

But Cosmos will still have to keep an eye on Phenyo Mongala, who has been in fantastic form for the Buccaneers and Andile Jali. Bongani Theletsane and Thabiso Hlalele will provide some of the attacking options for the hosts.