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Football | Absa Premiership

Mark Haskins © Gallo Images

Cosmos continue with survival battle



Jomo Cosmos will be in search of maximum points to keep their chances of avoiding relegation from the Absa Premiership alive when they welcome Maritzburg United to the Sinaba Stadium on Saturday, kick-off at 15h00 (CAT, SA, GMT+2).

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Ezenkosi are winless in their last seven league outings and have only managed to collect one point in the process when they held AmaZulu to a 0-0 draw at the Princess Magogo Stadium on Wednesday night, ending a six-match losing streak.

Midfielder Mark Haskins believes the point was important for the quest to stay in the top league, but quickly pointed out that they need more than that from their remaining matches.

“The draw takes us one step closer. A win would've been ideal, but looking at our recent results we have to be happy with a point away from home against a team like AmaZulu,” said Haskins.

“We have two home games coming up, and we need to capitalise on that.”

The point didn’t do anything for Ezenkosi in terms of log position as they remain 16th on the Absa Premiership table with 17 points from 27 matches played.

Jomo Sono’s men will face Maritzburg United before taking on the other relegation candidates Black Leopards and Santos, and Haskins believes this clash will be their turning point, although he admits it’s not going to be an easy task.

“The lovely thing about the PSL is that there are no easy games anymore,” he said.

“We know what to expect; we know it's going to be a really tough game, but we're in a desperate situation so we know we have to put all our efforts into it.

“We're going into the game knowing we can't afford anything less than a win. If we want to save our season, we have to get a win in that game.”

United also drew against AmaZulu in their last league outing with Cuthbert Malajila scoring an equaliser at the death as the match ended 1-1, but assistant coach Fadlu Davids believes they didn’t have to leave it that late.

“We were happy that in the end we managed to rescue a point but at the same time we were disappointed because we felt we had controlled the game and should have taken the three points,” said Davids.

“We allowed them to score with their only chance late in the first half and from there we had to chase the game.”

The Team of Choice is placed 11th on the Absa Premiership log with 33 points from 28 matches, safe from relegation and with no chance of reaching the top eight, but Davids says they still have a lot to play for.

“It’s true that Cosmos have more to gain from the game than we do but it doesn’t mean that we want it any less,” he said.

“We feel that we could’ve done a lot better this season and we still want to push ourselves to the limit in these two remaining games to get maximum points.

“I’m expecting this to be an open game with goals because they will go for three points and we will also do the same.”

When the teams met earlier this season at the Harry Gwala Stadium, the match finished 3-1 in favour of United with Mor Diouf, Felix Obada and Prince Olomu finding the back of the net for Ernst Middendorp’s side.

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