‘This one is for Masinga‚’ says Sono‚ evoking Cosmos’s glory years

Jomo Sono, coach of Jomo Cosmos during the 2019 Nedbank Cup Jomo Cosmos press conference at PSL Offices, Johannesburg on 23 January 2019.
Jomo Sono, coach of Jomo Cosmos during the 2019 Nedbank Cup Jomo Cosmos press conference at PSL Offices, Johannesburg on 23 January 2019.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

“This one is for Masinga‚” said Jomo Sono after his Jomo Cosmos upset Baroka FC at Peter Mokaba Stadium in the Nedbank Cup on Tuesday night to advance to the last-16.

The win evoked memories of a more illustrious time for the club when Phil Masinga was an integral part of the attack and Cosmos were among the country’s most successful outfits.

Sono had stoked emotions at Masinga’s memorial service last week with a stirring eulogy and was quick to again remember the tall striker‚ who died earlier this month‚ as he basked in the glory of the 1-0 win at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

“We’ll be happy to get Kaizer Chiefs in the next round. Wouldn’t that be great?” he added with a mischievous twinkle in the eye‚ with Thursday’s second round draw looming.

“No‚ anyone we get in the next round will be fine. We’re just going out to enjoy ourselves.

“If we win‚ we win‚ but our eye remains on promotion‚” said the club owner-coach‚ whose side have hit on hard times of late and are struggling in the bottom half of the National First Division (NFD).

“Our whole strategy was counterattack and that was it.”

Inky Masuku netted the vital strike after 30 minutes but it was a rearguard action for much of the match for Cosmos‚ who tired visibly‚ although Sono insisted the gap these days between the top-flight and NFD was around fitness.

“In the NFD it’s all about fitness. They chase you there‚ they pressurise you‚ you cannot breathe for 90 minutes.

“But against the top-flight teams‚ it’s different. They guide you‚ they give you space‚ time to look up and play. There is a lot of space when you play PSL teams but there is no space in the NFD.”

But he did admit his side were “suffering” in the second half on Tuesday‚ even though they became the fourth NFD side to beat top-flight opposition in the first round of this year’s competition.

“The pitch was too big and wet. In the NFD we play on small and dry pitches but this one was far too big. The players were complaining.”

Asked whether he was missing playing top-flight football‚ Sono quipped: “The PSL misses me too. I also miss them but they miss me‚ which is true!”

X