Cosmos remain unbeaten with tame road draw in Atlanta

Lucky Silverbacks Cosmos

ATLANTA – The New York Cosmos rolled into Atlanta with the ferocity of a lion, but ended the match like a lamb, taking a 0-0 draw against the Silverbacks to remain unbeaten on the Spring season.

The victory gives New York sole possession of first place (2-2-0, eight points), outpacing Tampa Bay by a single point and distancing themselves from the Strikers, Indy Eleven and Atlanta by two.

“It was a match that was difficult. Atlanta was very disciplined in their defense,” said Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese after the game. “We tried to push but they were very compact in the back. In the end we still picked up a point.”

The visitors took command of the entire first half, forcing Atlanta to fall into a shell under a barrage of shots and opportunities. Cosmos star Raul was the first to lay a test on returning keeper, Steward Ceus, shaking four defenders before blasting a curler on net in the sixth minute that the New York native did well to cover.

Lucky Mkosana, who started in place of regular striker Mads Stokkelien, found himself in space in the 17th and 19th minute, but mishandled well played balls from Raul and Restrepo to squash the Cosmos attack. Unable to get a clear look on net, veteran Marcos Senna launched a ball from 40 yards out, forcing Ceus to push the ball over the crossbar.

It looked like the Cosmos dominance would continue in the second as Mkosana put Ceus to the sword, but the snakebite forward could not convert.

The tides turned after the 50th minute with Atlanta pressing the tired veteran legs of the visiting Cosmos. Goakeeper Jimmy Maurer was up to the test, snuffing Kyle Porter on a one-on-one in the 60th and Shaka Bangura mere minutes later. With a deluge of rain engulfing the field, momentum changed, but chances went waning for the home side.

While New York emerged with a key point, they paid for their achievement. Lead defender Roversio limped out of the match with a non-contact hamstring strain. He will be evaluated this week.

New York now head back home for their highly anticipated Brooklyn debut, taking the field at MCU Park to face the Ottawa Fury.

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