Cosmos drop points in disappointing draw with last place Indy Eleven


UNIONDALE, L.I. – The New York Cosmos were supposed to take three points against an over-matched and under-performing Indy Eleven side.

Someone forgot to give Indy the memo.

A vibrant start by the Cosmos in the first half was followed by an uninspiring performance in the second, as New York conceded their early lead and succumbed to a disappointing draw in front of a sparse crowd of 3,581 at Shuart Stadium.

“I think the fact we were too early successful allowed the players to relax a little bit and didn’t allow the players to be as compact as we were last week,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said after the match. “We were too early, too successful, and things became quite easy in the beginning. We scored a great goal, looked good in the beginning, were threatening their defenders and were very close to scoring more goals.

“I think the guys relaxed at a particular time and that was difficult on us because then, [Indy Eleven] started to find space. At the end, we were chasing the game towards the end and that’s it.”

Savarese said the match “absolutely” felt like a loss despite the point gained — and it may feel worse by season’s end. Minnesota (5-1-1) managed a draw against the Railhawks last night, keeping their Spring Championship lead at three points above the Cosmos (4-1-2) with two games remaining in the campaign.

All in all, losing points to last-place Indy may very well come back to haunt them.

“The tie feels like a loss,” Marcos Senna said after the match. “We needed those three points no matter what. In the first half, we didn’t kill off the match. [Indy Eleven] came to defend and try to take a point and they did that.

“They leave very happy — I don’t know why, but well, we leave frustrated because we leave without the three points we wanted.”

Sebastian Guenzatti sparked the Cosmos to a fourth minute lead with an eye popping blast from roughly 30 yards out. The Uruguayan striker played a pass off of Mads Stokkelien and sent a curveball that weaved it’s way past Indy keeper Kristian Nicht, wedging the ball into the right netting of goal.

The Cosmos continued to threaten. Paulo Mendes managed a shot off of an Ayoze service that fell just outside of the goal. Stokkelien would head an Ayoze service right into the arms of Nicht a little over the half hour mark as well. Joseph Nane and Marcos Senna would challenge the German keeper, but neither could break the goal line in a dominating half.

The second half was a different story. New York lacked the urgency to move forward in the opening 20 minutes, playing aimless passes in the midfield.

Indy Eleven made sure to make them pay for it. In a rare midfield gaffe, former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Brad Ring stripped Senna of the ball and dashed into the Cosmos area, sending a bouncer on net that managed to beat Jimmy Maurer for the tying goal.

To make matters worse, Senna picked up a knock minutes later which would force him out of the match in the 85th minute. The Spanish international suffered an abductor strain and expects to be checked out by doctors on Sunday to find out the severity of the injury.

New York could not regain momentum, as the visitors took the match to the Cosmos and closed the game with an unlikely draw.

“We weren’t capable of maintaining the same regularity and rhythm of the first half,” Senna explained. “Perhaps we need to find this regularity and try to play the touch game we are known for. These games, we suffered last year as well. We have to kill games off when we can. At the end, they tied us.

“As I said, we leave this game with a sour taste in our mouths. Again, it feels like a loss”

New York will now turn their focus on the Brooklyn Italians on Wednesday night at St. John’s Belson Stadium for the third round of the U.S. Open Cup before heading down to Florida for a Saturday encounter against rival Fort Lauderdale Strikers.