Cosmos Score Three, but Only Take One Point

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Cosmos logoThe New York Cosmos (1-1-2, 5 Fall; 7-5-8, 29 Combined) chased the visiting Indy Eleven (1-2-1, 4 Fall; 5-6-9, 24 Combined) for much of Saturday’s match at MCU Park. Indy made the home side work to erase a two-goal deficit in the first half and then a one-goal deficit in the second to earn a point with a 3-3 result.

A corner in the 10th minute turned into gold for Indy as no one from the Cosmos came out to cover Don Smart‘s short delivery to Gerardo Torrado at the edge of the box. Free to line up his shot, Torrado picked out the top far corner with a deft strike. Jimmy Maurer made an attempt to block the shot, but he was late and watched the ball graze his fingertips.

Indy kept the Cosmos under pressure to find the back of the net again four minutes later. Marco Franco collected a turnover in New York’s defensive end, charged forward and passed to David Goldsmith, who moved it to Eamon Zayed. New York’s defense closed down Zayed in the box, but the forward laid the ball back for an unmarked Torrado. Once again, Torrado exploited the open space and blasted the ball past Maurer.

“I was very open at halftime that I wasn’t happy with the way we started,” said Cosmos Coach Giovanni Savarese. “We don’t want to give away two goals. Practically I think they scored two goals with no opportunities. They had a chance on a corner that we mistakenly didn’t come out quick enough to have someone there. Then the second goal, no one was on top of the box and he was able to shoot. Practically two goals with no opportunities. It’s difficult sometimes to be able to have a start like that.”

After striking the post in the 19th minute, Andrés Flores helped the Cosmos pull one back at the half-hour mark. Flores lifted a cross to back post, setting defender Dejan Jakovic up for a header that squeaked by Jon Busch.

New York’s momentum carried into the second half, resulting in a quick equalizer. Flores was the initiator again — this time rifling a shot from outside the box that caught the crossbar and bounced back in front of goal for Pablo Vranjican to clean up with a rebound header.

The celebration for the 6,100 in attendance was short-lived, though, as Zayed grabbed another for Indy just three minutes later. Zayed picked up the ball on the counter attack and shook off Jakovic at the top of the box before burying his shot.

Despite going down again, the Cosmos held the edge in possession throughout the rest of the match, but it took set piece finish from substitute Juan Guerra to level things again. A corner kick from Emmanuel Ledesma found Guerra, whose header zipped over a crowd of defenders in front of goal.

New York had plenty of chances to pull ahead in the dying moments, but Busch and woodwork combined to deny them. Flores came the closest to finding a winner, sending a one-touch shot into Busch’s arms at the near post and having the crossbar thwarting him once again moments before the final whistle.

“I think after the 20th minute, we completely outplayed them,” said Guerra. “… when you play at home, you cannot let them score three times. That’s it. It is very hard to win a game scoring four goals. If you look at the result today, it’s not a good result for us. I don’t think it’s a good result for them, but if you watch the game, I think there’s actually a lot of positive things. I think we were very good when we had the ball. We were aggressive. On defense we could’ve been better. We’ll work on that this week.”

Maurer and Busch both had to work up a sweat keeping the high-scoring match from escalating further. Maurer produced four saves in the match, while Busch cane up with six critical stops to earn Indy a valuable road point in the still young NASL Fall Season.

The Cosmos are away from home next week at North Carolina FC.