Lentswe, Jouberton - There was victory in defeat for a Matlosana XI side that went toe to toe against Jomo Cosmos development teams in friendly matches played on Saturday 25 January at the Brazil Sports Complex.
A talented group of players selected from teams that contested the recent Matlosana Community Games, coached by football greats Eric September and Gesond Vilakazi, were on the losing end against the much fancied Ezenkosi.
The first match ended in a 3-0 defeat for the local under-17 side while the under-19s suffered a 3-1 loss in a pulsating match which saw the home team dictate terms from the onset and showing no respect to their physically superior counterparts.
Matlosana went a goal up midway to the hour mark, but the more structured Ezenkosi juniors’ tactical and technical prowess saw them equalising ahead of the first stanza before completing a much fought comeback in the second.
According to Matlosana Community Games spokesperson, Marks Mokolobate, the results of the matches do not bear much significance because the organisers have achieved their objective.
“It would have been wonderful for the boys to register wins against Cosmos in front of our fans but it was not to be. We are very happy with their performance given the little time the coaches had to assemble and prepare the team. Our teams did tremendously well against a formidable side,” Mokolobate said.
The event publicist was elated that nine of the players - 8 from the under 19’s and one from the under-17’s - were chosen by Cosmos for further assessment.
“I am glad to announce that some of our youngsters will join Jomo Cosmos juniors for the upcoming SAFA Engen Tournament later this year. They now have an opportunity to further impress the Ezenkosi development coaches. One of our under-17 boys ‘Shabba’ was spotted outright and he is now a Cosmos player.”
Coach Eric September echoed the same sentiments saying: “I am satisfied with my boys’ performance. More so with the older team that ran riot over the opposition throughout the match. A loss against a team of that quality is no shame. You have to consider that they are a structured side with over five years of experience. For us to match them the way we did was excellent and I am glad the boys made such a positive impression on the Cosmos scouts even though we could not get the core of our targeted players who caught our eye at the Matlosana Games.
September is however furious at some of the teams that refused to let their players take part in the games “We want to expose and promote our local talent and our efforts are seemingly being met with resistance from people with a nefarious agenda.
However I am encouraged by the good work being done by Matlosana Games and the Dr Madikane Foundation. We won’t rest on our laurels until we get as many of our youngsters in the professional ranks,” he said.
Mokolobate concluded by extending sincere feelings of gratitude to the community of Matlosana for their continued support.