Another Zimbabwean looks to save Cosmos

The last time Jomo Cosmos rose back to the Absa Premiership, they had Zimbabwean striker, Evans Gwekwerere to thank for their exploits.

Charlton Mashumba, is their biggest hope upfront.
Charlton Mashumba, is their biggest hope upfront.

Back then, in 2009, Cosmos prevailed in a three-team playoffs contest to storm the Absa Premiership after they had spent just a season in the less-fashionable National First Division, called the Mvela League back then.

Five years later, the Johannesburg side are back in the playoffs and another Zimbabwean – Charlton Mashumba, is their biggest hope upfront.

Despite having begun the three-team competition that also involves Moroka Swallows and Black Leopards with a 2-0 loss against the latter, Jomo Sono’s men have a flawless record in the playoffs and pointers are that they will wrap it up in the last game this time.

Their biggest hope in that onslaught looks set to be nothing other Mashumba, than the man whose avalanche of goals took them there in the first place. The Zimbabwean banged in 17 goals to emerge the first runner-up in the NFD top scorer award that was eventually won by former Swallows man, Phumelele Bhengu, and has continued to bang them in during the playoffs.

After their loss to Leopards, Cosmos came on a rebound against Swallows, who they walloped 4-1 in their second game at the Vaal University of Technology to seize top spot. Swallows had beaten Leopards 2-0 in their first meet, thereby giving Cosmos the even-keel with a superior goal advantage ahead of the next round.

Mashumba banged-in a brace to go with goals from Thabo Ralebakeng and Brice Aka, while veteran forward Siyabonga Nomvete was on target for Swallows to tie the points for the three sides on two games each.

There are still two more games to play for each side one away and another at home, but basing on playoffs record and home advantage, Cosmos now look the side more likely to wrap it.

Swallows will have it tough away to Leopards, while a draw would work well for Cosmos in that tie. Cosmos, who are yet to visit the Dube Birds in Soweto, will have their work cut out if their Johannesburg rivals win or lose, as that will make the last two games decisive for Mashumba and his teammates, who end their campaign with a home tie against poor travelers Leopards.

Cosmos have an almost flawless record at home. They lost just one game at home in the entire campaign but refreshingly, that loss did not come in the game against Leopards, meaning there is hope for Jomo’s men, but in such games as these, hope can sometimes mean deceit.

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