Ezenkosi famously beat the Chilli Boys 4-3 when the teams met earlier this season, but this time around it was the Eastern Cape side that claimed all three points on offer thanks to an own-goal from Brice Aka and a tap-in from Nkosinathi Mthiyane.
Chippa began the game with an impressive passage of passing and went on to dominate the first half, creating chances for Aristide Bance and Joseph Malongoane within the opening 23 minutes – though neither was able to take advantage.
In the 24th minute the Chilli Boys should have claimed the lead, opening up Cosmos’ defence with a slick move to put David Zulu clean through on goal, but he was denied by an excellent save from goalkeeper Sherwyn Naicker.
That scare seemed to bring Ezenkosi to life and they gradually claimed a foothold in the game, playing some neat football without really threatening the home side’s defence. Their only notable effort on goal was a long-range shot from Charlton Mashumba which was tipped over his bar by Daniel Akpeyi in injury time.
Chippa may have endured a frustrating first half, but within four minutes of the restart they claimed the lead, with Brice Aka heading into his own net under pressure from Eric Chipeta at a corner kick to make it 1-0 to the home side.
Cosmos created a fine chance to restore parity on the hour mark, but Mashumba was unable to hit the target, while five minutes later Naicker produced another good save to keep out a low shot from Zulu which threatened to double Chippa’s lead.
On 70 minutes the home side put themselves two goals to the good, with Nkosinathi Mthiyane scoring easily from close range after Zulu had got in behind the defence, rounded Naicker and been tripped up before he had the chance to score the goal himself.
Cosmos never gave up hope and pulled a goal back in the first minute of injury time when substitute Luyolo Nomandela earned and then converted a penalty kick to make it 2-1. This set up a nervy finish for the hosts, but proved to be nothing more than a consolation for the visitors.
There was further drama a few minutes later when Sipho Mngomezulu gave away a penalty and was shown a second yellow card, before Thamsanqa Sangweni’s spot-kick was well saved by Naicker.