Cosmos Get Lucky in Dramatic 3-2 Win at Miami

IMAGE, juventudrebelde.cu

by JAKE NUTTING

The New York Cosmos found themselves in a familiar spot on Saturday night — giving up the lead twice in the final 20 minutes against expansion side Miami FC.

This time, they got Lucky.

In their first away match of the Fall Season, a fortunate deflection off the leg of Lucky Mkosana gave the forward a brace on the night and the Cosmos a winner in the final moments of the match.

It took only 30 seconds for Miami to show a level of urgency that the expansion side never demonstrated in its 3-0 loss to the Cosmos this past May. A well-worked passing sequence gave Jaime Chavez a promising chance in front of goal that was barely knocked out of danger by Brian Holt, who was making his second straight start in net while Jimmy Maurer rode the bench.

Miami continued to apply pressure in spurts and produced their most threatening chance of the opening half in the 20th minute. Chavez found himself with a free run into the final third thanks to a clever through ball. Holt raced outside the box and stuck his leg out to trip up the attacker and quell the opportunity.

The keeper was shown a yellow card for the infraction, but he could have easily seen red if not for a recovery run from Roversio to ensure Holt wasn’t the only defender in the area. Unfortunately, that heads-up sprint back from Roversio also cost him dearly, as he tumbled to the ground awkwardly and had to be stretchered off. Jimmy Ockford entered the match to replace the injury-plagued center back.

Holt came up with a critical save on the ensuing free kick, diving to deny a driven strike from Dario Cvitanich that was destined for the bottom corner.

After surviving that scare, the Cosmos began to find their footing. Winger Yohandry Orozco produced their first quality look on net in the 36th minute when he cut inside and fired a right-footed curler to the far post that required a last-second diving save from Daniel Vega.

Two short minutes after Orozco’s effort, the Cosmos found the go-ahead goal thanks to lazy defending from the home side. Michael Lahoud tried a clever touch in Miami’s end of the field and ended up gifting the Cosmos the ball. Left back David Diosa — making his second straight start of the year for the injured Ayoze — took the interception and delivered a perfectly-timed ball that made its way by several flat-footed defenders for Mkosana to emphatically bury into the net.

The match settled down at the start of the second half, with the Cosmos hoping to ride out the victory by passing Miami to death. The new-look Miami would not be so easily dismissed, though.

It took only one moment from Miami’s most recent expensive acquisition, Kwadwo Poku, against the run of play to even things up in the 73rd minute. After being a non-factor throughout the match, Poku outpaced Carlos Mendes to a through ball from Cvitanich and wasted no time slotting it past Holt.

Conceding another late goal lit a fire under the Cosmos, who charged down the field and pulled ahead once again in the 81st minute. Substitute Andres Flores came up with an impeccable flick for Orozco and the attacker deftly flicked it by Vega with the outside of his foot. Looking to avoid any more close calls, Gio Savarese replaced Orozco with the defensively minded Adam Moffat shortly after regaining the lead. But the move wasn’t enough to stop the Cosmos from shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes.

Flores needlessly gave up possession in 86th minute and Miami took advantage with a chip over the back line in the box for Chavez, who was taken down from behind by Hunter Freeman. Cvitanich stepped to the spot and converted the penalty with ease to equalize yet again.

Conceding late on the road is a position the Cosmos have found themselves in a few times this year, and none of those previous occasions ended well for them.

This time was a different story, though.

With only one minute of stoppage time left to salvage a win, Freeman whipped in a dangerous corner kick to the near post. Vega knocked the ball down and it bounced off the post directly to Mkosana, who knew little about it as the ball ricocheted off his leg and crossed the line to gift wrap all three points for the Cosmos.

The dramatic win lifts the Cosmos to the top spot in both the Fall Season and Combined Points table. The Cosmos have a short turnaround as they return home to host Jacksonville Armada FC on Wednesday night.

  • smurf040

    I was at the game and although I enjoyed the win, I see a few problems with this Cosmos 1) They can’t seem to be able to close out games 2) As much as I love the guy, and he’s been a heck of a player and leader for the Cosmos, I think is time Carlos Mendes should think about retiring. it was clear to see on the Poku goal that father time has caught up to him. 3) Orango seems tired, slow and/or uninterested 4) we need Roversio healthy!! he’s a solid member of that defense but he gets injured too damn much!! 4) After that nightmare of a game at the US Open Cup, I think Gio has gone sour on Jimmy Maurer (can’t blame him) and finally, 5) We need reinforcements!!! this team is just not good enough to win a Championship.

    • Kevin

      Smurf, not sure too many guys could have caught Poku on that pass. I think you’re totally correct on Arango on all 3 points. I don’t understand Mauer, sitting out again. He’s still one of the best in the league. And we totally need reinforcement s. Losing 3 players to other teams, Ayoze and Duk hurt and Roversio never healthy, that’s 6 players we haven’t replaced with not even 1. But for now very happy that ball ricocheted off of Lucky.

  • Leo Glickman

    Lucky gets it done for us, can’t be denied.

  • Rest of World

    Nice road win. Pretty entertaining game.

  • redjet23

    The way the winning goal deflected in was crazy and flukish. Almost an olimpico for Freeman, great for Lucky.

    Thought the Diosa assist for Lucky’s first goal was crazy too. He kinda no looked it, you can see he glances to his right briefly but he keeps his head straight and hit it hard and low and the ball slides past three defenders who all just watch the ball, never moved to block it.

    Roversio, Roversio. He just can’t stay on the field. I like him alot and think he’s a damn good defender, but maybe Cosmos need to move on. Ochieng looked good against Ottawa, was involved in both goals with good passes over the top of the defensive line.

    Is Maurer in Gio’s doghouse? Jimmy was terrible in the Open Cup defeat, but he’s been the solid #1 for 2.5 years.