Cosmos Can’t Close Against Eddies

Javi Marquez had a goal waived off by a controversial call in New York's scoreless draw with the Eddies on Saturday. Photo by NY Cosmos

Cosmos logoBROOKLYN, N.Y. — Miami’s 19th win of the year on Saturday evening gave the New York Cosmos (2-3-8, 14 Fall; 8-7-14, 38 Combined) some bad news about an hour before they were set to kick off against Edmonton (3-5-4, 13 Fall; 7-16-5, 26 Combined) at MCU Park. The result officially eliminated the Cosmos and most of the league from contention for the Fall Season title, meaning the Cosmos’ postseason hopes rest entirely on locking up a spot in the top four of the Combined Season standings.

The Cosmos brought the urgency of a team in need of every possible point against the Eddies, but they didn’t quite bring the required finishing and had to settle for a scoreless draw.

“I thought it was a very, very good game. It was missing only the goal,” Cosmos Coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Maybe we were missing some little things; a better run, a pass in the end, that final situation to be able to get the goal. We also have to give credit to their goalkeeper, he had a fantastic match.”

A few inches separated the Cosmos from grabbing the lead three times in the first 45 minutes.

Just nine minutes into the match, Emmanuel Ledesma tried for the bottom right corner with a dipping free kick from 19 yards out that keeper Tyson Farago managed to push wide to catch the outside of the far post.

In the 35th minute, Juan Guerra was left unchecked inside the box on a corner kick sequence. The Venezuelan guided his header across goal for the top left corner, but his effort failed to come down in time and clipped the top of the crossbar. Then, moments before the break, Ayoze stepped up to take a set piece from the same spot as Ledesma’s earlier attempt, curling a left-footer that missed the far post by an inch.

Referee Younes Marrakchi negated a goal for the Cosmos two minutes into the second half. With space at the near post, Javi Marquez received a corner kick and blasted a volley into the back of the net only to have the played waived off for an apparent foul by captain Carlos Mendes.

Savarese took issue with the pivotal decision from Marrakchi, who he said was “fantastic” for Edmonton. The Cosmos coach laughed when asked if the goal should have counted and how Marrakchi handled the moment.

“That’s a clear goal. That’s a goal here, in Paris, in the league in Manhattan,” he said. “That’s a goal that only a referee that doesn’t know what he’s doing is going to [call off\. For me, the worst part is when a referee laughs at players. It’s even worse. So for me, it was very poor. He didn’t have a bad game, but in key moments I think he was pretty poor.”

Marquez had another go at the near post in at the hour mark, this time with a powerful strike that slipped through Farago’s hands, but the keeper recovered in time before Lucky Mkosana could clean up.

Ryan Richter aimed to get the Cosmos on the scoresheet a minute after entering the match in the 68th minute. He found a window of space on the right side of the box to rip a beautiful shot that was destined for the back of the net until Farago got his hand on it at the last second. Richter got one by Farago in the 81st when the keeper let a cross past him at the far post, but Richter’s header sailed into the side netting.

The Cosmos hit the road next week for two important matches. With only three matches left to pick up points, they will need to be up to the task when they face Puerto Rico on Wednesday (in Lauderhill, Fla.) and then the Jacksonville Armada a few days later. The Jacksonville match is especially important because the Cosmos currently only edge the Armada for the last postseason spot based on goal differential (minus-1 to minus-2).

“Every game is very important. Every game is crucial. Today was crucial, it was very important. We’re taking it with the seriousness that we need to take it,’ Savarese said. “Unfortunately we’ve lost too many points in the past with too many ties and now we’re in situation in which we have to give the best of ourselves, but the good thing is what I saw today I am confident that we are going to fight all the way until the end.”