Posted in News on Feb 12, 2002.
It might not have been a 5-0 drubbing scoreline their traditional rivals handed them in a Coca-Cola Cup final in November last year, but all the same it was a more than satisfying measure of revenge for Ezenkosi who were still smarting from that humiliating defeat.
A greasy playing surface owing to some rain just before kick-off did not seem to affect the players that much as both teams adjusted quickly and settled into their passing game.
The match had all the ingredients of a grudge match, with players snapping at each other's heels and showing a lot of commitment up front.
The stars of Chiefs' recent away win against Free State Stars, imports Jossias Macamo and Luke Jukulile, who both came off the bench last week were rewarded with starting berths, and entrusted with finding the net for Amakhosi.
Both Macamo and Jukulile were full of running, seeing a lot of the ball in the early stages.
For Cosmos, the youthful exuberance of Bamuza Sono and hugely talented Dikgang Mabalane was complimented well by the industry of Macbeth Sibaya and the calming influence of Tico Tico Bucuane.
But it was Sibaya who was in inspiring form, demanding the ball at every opportunity and pulling the strings from the middle of the park. The midfielder also impressed with his all round game, his defensive and attacking qualities and his wide ranging repertoire of passes.
Both teams were playing delightful football in the middle but failing to translate that into decent goal-mouth action. Although they showed a lot of attacking intent, uncontrolled eagerness held sway over controlled exuberance in front of goal, as a result failing to ask serious questions of both goalkeepers.
A Cosmos free-kick in the 13th minute had Brian Baloyi in a spot of bother, with the Chiefs goal-minder only managing to get his fingertips to the ball, parrying it out for a corner amid some unprintable ranting at his yawning defence.
In the 20th minute, Cosmos hardman Andrew Rabutla was nearly punished for sloppiness and dithering on the ball. The defender was robbed of the ball just outside the box, but Macamo failed to capitalise, forcing a corner instead.
From the resultant flag-kick, defender Cyril Nzama went narrowly wide with aheader after connecting with Macamo's inswinger.
Chiefs coach Muhsin Ertugral wasted no time in ringing the changes, bringing on Shaun Permall for Macamo in the 29th minute as Chiefs looked for more penetration up front. It was a rather surprising move as the Mozambican looked lively.
As if not to be outdone by his opposite number, Cosmos coach Jomo Sono responded two minutes later by pulling out Nuro Taulibudine for the bustling Nkosinathi Nhleko.
Nhlanhla Mathebula then became the player in referee Paulo Marques's book for a push on Sibaya in the 35th minute.
Five minutes later, Cosmos took the lead.
By far the best player on show, workaholic midfielder, Sibaya, capped a brilliant first half performance with a wonder goal, latching on to a half hearted headed clearance, unleashing a rasping shot that skidded off the surface leaving Baloyi grasping thin air.
Ertugral brought on Gary Goldstone for Mathebula at the restart to bolster the defence.
But it was Ezenkosi who fired the first volley of the second half with Rabutla's thumping header from a corner-kick less than two minutes after resumption cannoning off the intersection of the crossbar and the upright with Baloyi an onlooker.
There was no denying Cosmos going further ahead in the 57th minute when Nhleko just managed to beat a flapping Baloyi to as superb a cross-field pass by Sono, the striker following it up with a stab into an empty net.
Cosmos's defending was dogged and resolute, keeping the Chiefs threat at bay and suffocating the Amakhosi creativity in midfield.
Kenny Niemach entered the fray for Jukulile in the 63rd minute as Chiefs looked for the elusive goal but not much materialised up front for the Glamour Boys as Cosmos stood firm.
Thabo Mooki then forced a full-stretch save from Paul Evans in the 70th minute as Chiefs for once made the Cosmos goalkeeper earn his wages.
Amakhosi went close again just after the half hour mark in the second half but Evans did well to block Permall's effort even though the goalkeeper was a bit unsighted and could easily have been put off by the intentions of Niemach.
A terrible foul by Jabu Pule on Hilton Jordaan had the Cosmos captain writhing in agony, forcing Cosmos to play the final seven minutes with 10 men having already made all their three substitutions.
But despite their numerical advantage Chiefs failed to breach the Cosmos defence as Ezenkosi held on for a hard-fought victory.
Chiefs: Baloyi, Nzama, Mathebula (Goldstone, Mabotsa, Mthembu, Kannemeyer, Mabedi, Mooki. Pule, Macamo (Permall, 29), Jukulile (Niemach 18)
Cosmos: Evans, Tlhomelang, Rabutla, Jordaan, Malati (Ntsume, 80) Sibaya, Sono (Mhlathi, 20), Mabalane, Bucuane, Taulibudine (Nhleko, 32), Kanyenda
Referee: Paulo Marques.