COSMOS CAN STILL SAVE FACE
AFTER the humiliation of relegation to the National First Division after a season, Jomo Cosmos have a chance to salvage some pride in the Nedbank Cup.
Ezenkosi host Pretoria University at Rand Stadium on Sunday and they will want to put the axing behind them by doing well in the knockout tournament.
It would not be a stretch to fancy Cosmos to do well or even reach the final. After all, the past two finals have featured Premiership teams against opponents from the NFD.
On both occasions the Premiership clubs prevailed. Mamelodi Sundowns pipped the then NFD campaigners Mpumalanga Black Aces 1-0, courtesy of Lerato Chabangu's 88th-minute goal at Johannesburg Stadium in the inaugural season.
Moroka Swallows won the tournament last year after beating AmaTuks 1-0, thanks to a 21st-minute strike by Vinicius Candido da Silva.
While Cosmos still carry the clout of being one of the Premiership teams in the last 16 of "Ke Yona", AmaTuks will be far from intimidated.
With Ezenkosi owner-coach Jomo Sono relegating the likes of Bamuza Sono and Bongani Theletsane to the bench, AmaTuks will feel that Cosmos are there for the taking.
They will be oozing confidence when they step onto the pitch.
Sono has joined Bidvest Wits while the talented Theletsane is rumoured to be heading to Chloorkop to join Downs.
Against all odds last season, the Tshwane side managed to reach the final, disposing of Kaizer Chiefs (4-3), Bloemfontein Celtic (1-0) and Ajax Cape Town (2-1) en route to the final.
Without Andile Jali and Mthokozisi Yende, who have joined Bucs and Amakhosi respectively, AmaTuks are admittedly no longer the same side and are probably not as dangerous as last term.
But they can still spring a few surprises and should still be strong enough to give Cosmos a good run for their money.
With Sono clearly plotting a return to top-flight football minus his son and Theletsane, it will be up to the likes of Siza Dlamini and Thabiso Hlalele to steer the team forward.
AmaTuks, on the other hand, will pin their hopes on captain Obert Moyo and Joseph Mthombeni. The latter scored a hat-trick against Vasco da Gama in the last-32.
Kickoff is 3pm.