Cosmos Scramble for Win in Spring Season Finale

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By JAKE NUTTING

Cosmos logoAn opportunistic finish from the youngster Eric Calvillo after a mad scramble in front of goal lifted the New York Cosmos (6-4-6, 24 points) to a 1-0 win at Edmonton (4-11-1, 13) on Saturday and into third in the North American Soccer League’s Spring Season standings heading into the midseason break.

In oppressive heat, the Cosmos held a slight edge over the Eddies in the early stages of the match. Midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma played several threatening crosses into Edmonton’s box from the left flank, but his targets in front of goal were either late or off the mark with their finishes.

As the match wore on, the home side began to find spaces in New York’s defensive end and produced the first half’s best two scoring chances. In the 37th minute, Ben Fisk delivered a dangerous free kick to the far post for an unmarked Sabri Khattab, who lofted a hopeful header back across goal. Keeper Jimmy Maurer recovered in time to knock the attempt over the crossbar as he was falling backwards, though.

David Ochieng gave the Eddies an even more promising chance four minutes later. The center back played a weak header back in the direction of Maurer, but Tomi Ameobi raced in to collect the errant pass. As Maurer rushed out to shut down Ameobi, the attacker lifted a chip that only missed the far post by inches.

The Cosmos finally found a way to probe Edmonton’s net five minutes after the break through a nifty individual run from Calvillo. With just a few touches, the midfielder collected a loose ball, pushed it past a sliding defender at the top of the box and then rifled a shot to the right post. Tyson Farago, though, was up to the task and stretched out to thwart Calvillo.

Calvillo was also the player at the center of New York’s chaotic winner in the 79th minute. Jimmy Mulligan threaded a perfect pass from the left edge of the box, but the scoring chance looked dead as Calvillo and Juan Guerra both lunged for the ball on front of goal at the same time. The ball bounced off Calvillo and then Guerra before rolling toward Farago at the left post. Calvillo persisted and poked the ball away as he laid on the ground before Farago could secure it, sending it across the line. After consulting with his assistant on the sideline to see if Calvillo was onside, Referee Juan Marquez allowed the goal to stand.

The victory is a positive end to the Spring Season for the Cosmos after coming away with a draw and two losses in their previous three matches. They return to kick off the 16-match Fall Season at MCU Park on July 29 against spring winner Miami FC. During the break, the Cosmos will play an exhibition against La Liga’s Valencia in Regina, Saskatchewan on Friday.