Celtic brush Cosmos aside


The popular Free State side had to come from a goal down after Reneilwe Letsholonyane had given Ezenkosi the lead in the first half, but an equaliser soon after the break from Petrus Mahlatsi, a rare goal just before the hour mark from Thabo Nthethe and a late strike by Moses Spandeel, handed them a second consecutive win that makes certain their top flight status for the 2008/09 season.

Celtic threatened first through Lebohang Kukame and Spandeel, with the former seeing his shot saved by Avril Phali in the 12th minute while the latter blazed a free-kick off target a short while later.

However, it was Cosmos who opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Letsholonyane got on the end of Bongi Macala’s pass and fired the ball past Simon Gopane.

Macala himself nearly added to Ezenkosi’s lead in the 33rd minute with a long range free-kick, but Gopane made a relatively comfortable save. Four minutes later Celtic skipper John Maduka tried to demonstrate his skill from a similar dead ball situation, but his shot went over the crossbar.

Spandeel and Mahlatsi missed two further chances for Phunya Sele Sele in the remainder of the half, though the best opportunity fell to Cosmos’ Tshepo Moloto, who could only direct his shot wide of goal from 12 yards out.

The visitors led 1-0 at half time, but their advantage was erased immediately after the break when Mahlatsi got on the end of Spandeel’s corner kick and headed his team back onto level terms.

Just over ten minutes later defender Nthethe put Celtic ahead, getting on the end of another good cross from Spandeel to score in the 58th minute.

Substitute Nkosinathi Nhleko tried to bring Cosmos level in the 68th minute, but his 18-yard drive flashed wide of goal before Moloto’s effort was saved by replacement goalkeeper Shuaib Walters.

Spandeel wrapped up the match deep into injury time as Cosmos poured numbers forward in hope of an equaliser, scoring from 12 yards out after being set up by Kleinbooi Taaibos.

Celtic move to 33 points, 11 clear of second-from-bottom Jomo Cosmos with just three rounds of the 2007/08 Absa Premiership season remaining.

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