Cosmos will put Bucs to the test

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Kick off is at 15h00.

Ezenkosi stumbled out of the cup at the weekend, beaten on penalties by First Division club Nathi Lions to add further woe onto what has been a dismal season for Jomo Sono’s team.

Were it not for the wretched form of Black Leopards, Cosmos would surely be in even more trouble than they presently are.

Fortunately, as far as Ezenkosi supporters are concerned, they still have hope of catching 14th placed Thanda Royal Zulu and avoiding the nerve-wracking prospect of appearing in the relegation/promotion playoff with three First Division teams.

But with a five point gap to the KwaZulu-Natal team, Sono’s side must make up ground quickly. A good start would be to beat an injury ravaged Orlando Pirates, who have little left to play for this season aside from personal pride.

The Buccaneers have fallen by the wayside in the race for the league title and were beaten by Santos in the first round of the cup.

Coach Owen da Gama’s biggest problem may not be missing a whole host of players, but figuring out exactly how to motivate those he does have at his disposal.

However, while Cosmos appear to have forged a solid defence – just two goals conceded in their last nine league and cup matches – it is a sterile attack that threatens their top flight status.

Ezenkosi have failed to score in any of their last five league matches and have found the back of the net just twice in their last 12 Premiership matches.

A paltry 11 goals scored in 23 league games tells the story of Cosmos’ problems this term.

Pirates:Date H/A Opponent Result22/03/08 A Thanda Royal Zulu L 1-208/03/08 H Black Leopards D 0-005/03/08 A Bloemfontein CelticW 1-001/03/08 H Golden Arrows D 0-024/02/08 A Santos L 1-2

Cosmos:23/03/08 H Moroka Swallows D 0-009/03/08 A AmaZulu D 0-005/03/08 H Free State Stars D 0-027/02/08 A Platinum Stars D 0-024/02/08 H Ajax Cape Town L 0-1

HEAD-TO-HEAD STATS:League meetings since 1996/97:

1996/97Pirates 1 (Ngobe pen) Cosmos 0 Cosmos 0 Pirates 0

1997/98Cosmos 2 (Tico-Tico, Nkhwazi) Pirates 0Pirates 0 Cosmos 1 (Tico-Tico)

1998/99Pirates 0 Cosmos 1 (Tico-Tico)Cosmos 1 (Tico-Tico) Pirates 0

1999/2000Pirates 1 (Mkhize) Cosmos 4 (Nhleko 4)Cosmos 1 (Nhleko) Pirates 3 (Lota 2 (1 pen), Mngomeni)

2000/01Pirates 1 (Lekoelea) Cosmos 1 (Mwaruwari (pen))Cosmos 1 (Tico-Tico) Pirates 1 (Mkhize)

2001/02Cosmos 0 Pirates 0Pirates 1 (Ndlanya) Cosmos 0

2002/03Pirates 0 Cosmos 0Cosmos 1 (Tshimanga) Pirates 1 (Mofedi)

2003/04Pirates 1 (Vilakazi) Cosmos 3 (Mohlala, Tico-Tico 2)Cosmos 1 (Cunha) Pirates 1 (Makhanya)

2004/05Pirates 1 (Leremi) Cosmos 0Cosmos 0 Pirates 3 (Lekoelea, Vilakazi, Manenzhe)

2005/06Pirates 1 (I.Chansa) Cosmos 0Cosmos 0 Pirates 0

2006/07Pirates 1 (Mdledle) Cosmos 1 (C.Katongo)Cosmos 1 (Letsholonyane) Pirates 2 (Tico-Tico, Chenene)

2007/08Cosmos 0 Pirates 1 (Lekgwathi)