Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
4 minute read
18 Mar 2019
3:10 pm

NFD wrap: Lebahi’s goal moves Cosmos away from relegation

Sibongiseni Gumbi

It was left to captain and the club’s long serving player Ange Lebahi to end Jomo Cosmos’ five game winless run as the defender rose above the rest to head home from Silas Maziya’s free kick early in the first half.

Silas Maziya of Jomo Cosmos (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)

The goal was enough to seal the win against Uthongathi FC at Makhulong Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

But it was not easy sailing for Ezenkosi as they survive an onslaught from the Cane Cutters who were looking to continue their good run and keep abreast of the promotion playoffs spots chasers in the National First Division (NFD).

A combination of good defending and excellent goalkeeping by Mwenya Chibwe however was enough to keep Uthongathi away and Ezenkosi held on for an important win. With the win, Jomo Sono’s side can breathe a sigh of relief as they moved away from the relegation zone, at least for now. They are now seven points above the teams in the relegation places but they should not relax as there are still six games and 21 points to fight for.

For the Cane Cutters, the defeat stalled their progress as they went back to sixth place. But they are still in the race for at least the playoffs as they are six points adrift of third placed Ajax Cape Town.

Other matches

Ajax Cape Town 0 Richards Bay 0

It was always going to be a difficult match as both sides are in the race for at least a place in the playoffs at the end of the season. With a points each, the Urban Warriors lost their second place to Royal Eagles while the Natal Rich Boys remained sixth.

Maccabi 1 (S. Sibiya) TS Galaxy 0

With the situation getting a little anxious, Maccabi coach Joel Masutha must have been relieved to finally get a win since taking over from Mokete Tsotetsi in January. Sipho Sibiya’s goal was enough to seal the win for Maccabi. There is however little to celebrate as relegation is still a reality for the side as they are just six points above the relegation places. But Masutha will hope this was a turning point they have been looking for.

Tshakhuma 3 (P. Bhengu; M. Mbandlwa; M. Sontaga) Stellenbosch 2 (I. Rayners; G. Roelf)

They may not have a realistic chance at promotion but Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila did teams at the top a big favour when they beat Stellenbosch at Thohoyandou Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The defeat was Stellies’ fourth of the season and stalled their progress immensely as they lead has now been cut to just three points. Phumelele Bhengu, Mboniseni Mbandlwa, and Mohloding Sontaga scored for the home side while Iqraam Rayners increased his tally to 14 and veteran Gregory Roelf also added his name on the score sheet on the day.

TS Sporting 2 (T. Sikhakhane; D. Chauke) Witbank Spurs 0

Shakes Mashaba’s work at Siyavutha seems to get more difficult with each game. Although he has managed to get the team from the bottom place, they are still in danger with six games to go as they are second from bottom. Abanu Bemthetho were at their best again as they easily beat Siyavutha with Thobela Sikhakhane and Decide Chauke scoring the goals.

Royal Eagles 3 (P. Cele x2; L. Mashiane) Mbombela United 2 (S. Sithole; K. Mkhatha)

It was billed as the match of the weekend in the NFD and it lived to expectation. The visitors drew first blood through Sekela Sithole, but Eagles’ inspirational captain Philani Cele was on hand to squash that and level matters. Kingston Nkhatha put the Tingwenyama ahead again, and Cele was again on hand to level matters. But it was Levy Mashiane who was to be the hero as the scored the winning goal for the home side who are now just three points behind the leaders Stellenbosch.

Cape Umoya United 1 (G. Matlou) Real Kings 0

It looks like Real Kings will need some real magic if they are to avoid relegation this season as they suffered their 12th defeat of the season, leaving them rooted to the bottom of the standings with six games to go. George Matlou was the hero for the home side as he scored the winner which lifted the Spirited Ones out of the relegation zone, at least for now.

Ubuntu CT 1 (W. Isaacs) University of Pretoria 1 (M. Mokasi)

Moses Mokasi may have thought that he had emulated his biblical namesake when he scored to give AmaTuks the lead but Waseem Isaacs burst that bubble when he scored the equaliser for the Brave. The draw gave The Brace little relief from relegation as they are just three points above Spurs. For AmaTuks, the draw was also not a good result as it did almost nothing to improve their position on the standings.  

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