JOHANNESBURG – Jomo Cosmos finished their season on a high note in recording a 2-1 win over Platinum Stars in their Premiership play-off match, at the Vosloorus Stadium near Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon.
The match was of academic interest as Black Leopards had already claimed the one top flight spot that was up for grabs, after their midweek win over Cosmos in Thohoyandou.
Cosmos coach Jomo Sono was upbeat after the win.
"I would say that we will keep about 95 percent of this squad for the new season in the National First Division," said the Cosmos coach and chairman.
"We will look to add a few players but for the moment, the players are on a one month break until we resume training in July."
Speaking after his team's relegation from the top flight, Stars coach Roger de Sa said: "The relegation has been coming for a while and we will know in the next few days where and how Stars will play their games next season. We tried out a few youngsters and some worked out well for us while others didn't."
The visitors were the first to get on to the score-sheet after Lifa Hlongwane volleyed home past Stars goalkeeper Dino Visser in the 12th minute.
Stars, who will be playing with Cosmos in the National First Division next season, should have equalised in the 40th minute, when they were awarded a penalty after experienced midfielder Vuyo Mere was brought down in the penalty area by Bajosi Manjoe. However, Letsie Koapeng's spot-kick was superbly saved by Cosmos keeper King Ndlovu.
Whatever coach de Sa said to his charges at half-time seemed to do the trick, and they were on level terms in the 46th minute, thanks to a goalkeeping error from Ndlovu, which allowed Koapeng to score.
Cosmos pressed hard for the winner in the final quarter of the match and were rewarded in the 90th minute, when midfielder Tebogo Tlolane scored from close range after some fine build-up work by the hosts on the right hand side of the park.
Leopards finished the tournament with eight points from gour matches, while Cosmos were next best with four points from four games. Stars were win-less in their four games, accumulating 2 points.
African News Agency (ANA)