Cosmos squander two-goal lead in road draw vs. Indy Eleven


INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – The New York Cosmos were well on their way to three vital points.

Jermaine Johnson had other ideas.

With seconds left in extra time, the Indy Eleven midfielder broke free on a Blake Smith ball and chipped a wandering Kyle Zobeck for the game tying goal, compounding on the woes of what has already been a forgettable Fall season for the Cosmos.

“We need to do a better job of maintaining the lead, but give credit to Indy because they made it difficult for us,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese. “We created some chances at the end, and we could’ve capitalized and finished the game off, but we didn’t get the job done.”

New York now fall to 2-3-4 (10 points); two points better than the struggling Indy Eleven (2-5-2, 8 pts.) and seventh in the ten team Fall table. This after a strong Spring season which saw the club finish second with an impressive 6-2-1 record. Thanks to their Fall shortcomings, the club is now struggling to hold on to the final playoff position in the combined series with a four point advantage over rivals Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

The Cosmos showed well to start the road encounter. Queens native David Diosa started off the scoring for the visitors. Newcomer Andres Flores pinpointed the winger in space and Diosa headed his shot past Kristian Nicht in the sixth minute.

Newcome Danny Mwanga found instant chemistry with Mads Stokkelien, playing several dangerous give and go passes in Indy’s area. It wouldn’t take long for one to connect as Mwanga put Stokkelien through for his second goal in as many matches.

Stokkelien looked vibrant in his play, taking several chances on net, including one from long range which Nicht did well to stop. Mwanga also interacted nicely with his teammates, particularly in the first half.

New York looked the better side in the second half as well, but Indy made the most of their chances. Mike Ambersley managed to poke a ball past Zobeck on a Victor Pineda feed in the 61st minute to cut the Cosmos advantage in half.

Loanee Connor Lade helped give the Cosmos a spark as a late half substitute. New York continued to take shots into the Eleven area, but were unable to find true opportunities from close range. That lack of finish gave Indy a last gasp chance for a point, which Johnson gladly took. Zobeck played the sequence well off of his line and the savvy midfielder lobbed his effort past him for the decisive goal.

For the second time in as many meetings, Indy Eleven managed a late game goal to spoil the Cosmos gains.

“Obviously it’s very disappointing when we’re up 2-0, and they get a tie three minutes into stoppage time,” said Stokkelien. “We should finish the game when we’re up 2-0.”

Regular starter Jimmy Maurer returns from red card suspension next week as the Cosmos host rival Fort Lauderdale at Shuart Stadium this Saturday.

  • Joey

    More wasted opportunities from the Cosmos. Every time you think they are turning the tide, they stumble. Up 2-0, you can’t allow your opponents to come back, especially if you are struggling points. This week, both the Minn. United and the Scorpions lost and it would have allowed us to gain three big points, but we settle for only one.
    There are 9 games (potential 27 points) and if you still believe they have a chance at the Supporter’s Cup, they will have to cut into and overtake the Minnesota United, who have an 8 point lead and a game in hand. It doesn’t look likely and that’s alright, we should focus on playing better and qualifying for The Championships. We are in position to qualify right now, but we have teams right behind us. We need to play much better at home and I think the lack of crown support is effecting the teams play and opponents aren’t intimidated to play in New York anymore. It’s unfortunate.
    I’m glad we didn’t sign a high profile forward and went with Mwanga instead, as I think he’s a promising player and can benefit us this season. The problem isn’t our forwards, the problem has been our creativity in the midfield and defense, as we have scored the 3rd fewest goals and given up the 3rd most goals in the Fall season. We had only given up 3 goals in 9 games in the Spring, that is now 4x as much, at 12 goals in 9 games in the Fall. We’ve only scored 3 goals less after 9 games, but the struggles are much more evident now, as we need the goals.
    There are 9 more games left in the regular season and if the Cosmos want to defend their title, they will need to play better, much better. The signs of a breakout are there, but the mistakes need to be cut out and focus needs be addressed. Gio needs to sit down with his guys and have real talk, because this play can’t continue.