By Julian Dube
Jomo Cosmos . . . . . . . . . (2) 3
Nuro 38, 44, 63
Free State Stars . . . . . . .(1) 1
Jomo Sono seems to have found exactly the football strikeforce he has long wanted in Zimbabwe's Benjamin Mwaruwari, Tico Tico Bucuane and Nuro Taulibdune (both Mozambique).
In a brilliant performance, chockfull of invention and laced with verve, a 1 000 spectators saw Cosmos recover from a one-goal deficit to win this second round premiership match against Free State Stars at home.
It was the Mozambican national captain Bucuane, now also skipper at Cosmos, who created both the goals scored by Tualibdune before Mwaruwari orchestrated the third goal.
In doing so, Nuro took his team to sixth position with 39 points to their credit in the top eight bracket.
Such is the wealth of talent Jomo Sono has at his disposal, he can afford to give Nkosinathi Nhleko, his youth international striker, and midfield general Phumlani Dindi a day off.
After some nervousness in the early exchanges, Cosmos fell behind quite simply through a lack of concentration at the back.
Stars' S'thembiso Mkhize won possession on the right and on spotting a late run on the left by midfielder Thato Mokoena, sent over a cross that the latter dispatched past a sprawling Cosmos goalkeeper, Silver Tshabalala, for the lead.
But after 20 minutes of fast and aggression football, Cosmos drew level.
Stars defender Doctor Mkhonza played a backpass to his goalkeeper Matthews Setholo whose clearance went straight to Bucuane.
The elegant striker twisted and turned his marker before playing a square pass for Taulibdune to control and drive into the left corner of the net.
Cosmos quickly doubled their score when Bucuane drew defenders towards him before flicking a pass into the path of Tualibdune to shoot under the diving Setholo for the lead.
There after Cosmos' midfield, marshalled by Bucuane, started to string passes together as Stars battled to get to grips with the urgency of Cosmos' game and the snappiness of their movement through midfield.
At the back in particular the visitors lacked cohesion, Bwalya too often having to clear from forced backpasses.
Stars replaced Mkhize with David Dlamini on 56 minutes in a bid to strengthen their lacklustre strikeforce.
But it was Cosmos' fluid movements and controlled passing that saw Tebogo Mokoena threading a defence-splitting pass which Mwaruwari collected at full pace before cutting inside the Stars defence and curling a powerful low cross that Setholo failed to hold.
Taulibdune, always in the right place at the right time obliged with a wicked shot into the back of the nets.