Cosmos Knock Off RailHawks, Keep Spring Title Hopes Alive

IMAGE, NYCOSMOS

by JAKE NUTTING

Facing a must-win scenario to keep a realistic shot at capturing the Spring Season title, the New York Cosmos answered the call with a 1-0 win over the previously unbeaten Carolina RailHawks.

A brilliant bit of individual skill from Yohandry Orozco to get the goal and stellar saves from Jimmy Maurer in the second half carried the Cosmos to the crucial result.

The cold and dreary conditions in the match at Shuart Stadium didn’t dampen the home side one bit. Coming out of their recent two-game losing skid, the Cosmos played with urgency on both sides of the ball.

Gio Savarese’s insertion of Orozco breathed new life into the attack, adding much needed pace and width that had been missing in recent weeks. He produced his first scoring chance in the 12th minute with a beautifully whipped in cross from deep down the left flank that made its way to the far post. Sebastian Guenzatti was in the vicinity, but defender Paul Black did well to break up the sequence.

Orozco sparked a promising counter three minutes later when he recieved the ball on the left touchline and quickly played it to the center for Niko Kranjcar, who smoothly moved the ball along to the right side for Juan Arango. The attacker ran towards net and fired off a shot that took a deflection that narrowly missed the right post.

The Cosmos continued to assert themselves with quality distribution and ratcheted up the pressure on the RailHawks. Kranjcar’s vision paid off in the 20th minute with a sublime switch to the right slide to slip Gunzatti behind the back line. The winger received the ball in stride, charged into the box for a one-on-one with Bryan Sylvestre, but his attempt was too direct and the keeper was able to thwart the chance with a quality kick save.

After keeping the RailHawks at bay for most of the first half, the visitors finally threatened with a counter in the 39th minute. An interception along the endline was fed to forward Brian Shriver, who held up long enough to allow Austin da Luz to make a run into the box. Shriver’s pass was on point, but da Luz’s heavy touch let him down and Maurer was able slide in and smoother the ball.

With the first half winding down, the Cosmos kept pushing for the go-ahead goal and found it from one of the players that had been heavily involved throughout. After looking to set up his teammates, Orozco finally got selfish, juked past several defenders and rocketed a shot that slipped under the crossbar.

Kranjcar continued to show his confidence into the second half and came close to grabbing two himself. He first tried his luck in the 53rd minute with a strike from 20 yards out that had Sylvestre beat but clipped to the top corner and went out for a goal kick.  The Croatian tried his luck inside the box later on in the 82nd minute when he put on a dribbling clinic to create space for a right-footed shot to the far post that narrowly missed the net.

New York’s inablity to capitalize on their dominance and increase the lead nearly cost them late in the match. They were only let off the hook by three massive saves from Maurer.

In the 69th minute, Shriver found himself on the end of some great build-up play and one-timed a shot to the far post, but Maurer palmed the attempt out for a corner.

Maruer came up with another critical save in the 85th minute when he knocked a close-range volley attempt from James Marcelin.

Maurer was forced to take a huge risk a few moments later when Tiyi Shipalane threatened on a long ball over the top. The winger would’ve had a free run on goal had Maurer not raced out of the area and cleared the ball at the last second to thwart the danger.

The win moves the Cosmos firmly back into the spring title race. They’re now even with Minnesota in second place on nine points and still three behind Carolina. They face Miami FC at FIU Stadium on the 7th.

  • Anthony

    Big win. A loss would have mostly knocked them out of contention for spring championship. Now they sit just 3 points of the lead pace with 5 games to go.

    • Smith

      Sure an absolutely great win. Definitely a statement game by the Cosmos. Great gola and just outstanding goalkeeper play from Jimmy !

  • rebel fighter

    Good work soldiers.

  • slowleftarm

    If a game is played at a college lacrosse stadium in front of 2,400, did it actually happen?

    • Leo Glickman

      If you’re wondering if a game that you are commenting on really happened, is your psychiatrist prescribing enough Lithium to you?

  • Leo Glickman

    It was one of the more exciting and well played games I’ve seen in the last year in North American soccer. Carolina is very disciplined and very well organized. Kudos to them. Silvestre and Maurer both beasts.

    • slowleftarm

      That’s probably because you’ve only watched NASL games.

  • Solid game. Strong goal tending as well. This would have been a bad loss.

  • John

    Good job by the Cosmos on winning 1-0, horrible job by the fans about 250 showed up at the game the stands were completely empty,very sad that the Cosmos play hard but their fans fail to show up.

  • Will

    Great win for the Cosmos Jimmy was like a cat in goal he saved this win for the Green and White. Orozco with just a great move using his dribbling skills. Cosmos controlled play and the defense was very very good. Hopefully this is a nice starting point as the remaining spring schedule favors them.