Sensational Ayoze Strike Caps Cardiac Cosmos Comeback

IMAGE, DAVE MARTINEZ, EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by JAKE NUTTING

A sluggish start for the New York Cosmos led to a one goal halftime deficit to the San Antonio Scorpions. That was all nullified, though, by two second half set piece goals, including a stunning free kick effort from Ayoze to seal the win.

The defender picked a perfect time to score his first goal of the year, keeping New York’s hope of stealing home field advantage from Ottawa Fury FC in the final week of the season alive.

After two impressive appearances as a starter, forward Gaston Cellerino got the nod again this weekend and he had the two first chances for the Cosmos. He almost connected on a scissor kick attempt on a ball from Walter Restrepo, but his best effort was a strong header that keeper Daniel Fernandes deftly handled.

Raul came close to putting his side ahead in the 34th minute when he shielded his defender off the ball to create space at the top of the box and curled a shot to the top corner of the far post that missed, but not by much.

For their part, the Scorpions did plenty to challenge the Cosmos back line in the first half. Midfielder Billy Forbes was a pest and wreaked havoc for New York down the left side of the field throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Forbes’ tenacity finally paid off with the go ahead goal in the 43rd minute. When a ball into the box fell to Hunter Freeman, Forbes swarmed the defender to strip him and promptly bury the ball from six yards out.

The halftime break did little to reinvigorate the visitors, as opportunities from open play dried up for both sides in the opening stages. New York caught an unlikely break in the 60th minute when Cellerino drew a penalty on an innocuous ball into the box. Veteran Marcos Senna calmly converted the penalty with a stutter step to get Fernandes to dive the wrong way.

Cellerino’s timing was serendipitous as the Argentine was seconds away from being substituted off for Lucky Mkosana.

Forbes threatened to put his team out front again in the 72nd minute when he penetrated into the box, but his low-driven attempt rolled directly into the arms of Jimmy Maurer.

Open play opportunities remained hard to come by for the Cosmos after the equalizer. That frustration was washed away, though, from a moment of brilliance by Ayoze. The left back used his preferred left foot to deliver a gorgeous curling free kick from 25 yards out that sailed into the back netting and left Fernandes completely flat-footed.

Ayoze’s effort opened up the match for both sides in the final 10 minutes. Yet again, it was Forbes probing the Cosmos defenses when he blasted a half volley on frame that forced Maurer to make a diving save.

Substitute Andres Flores nearly assured the victory with two chances in quick succession in the final five minutes. Flores was first denied on a long range effort by a diving Fernandes and then by the post on a short range effort two minutes later.

Sunday’s three points are critical ones for the New York Cosmos. They now enter the final week two points back of Ottawa in the race for the top playoff seed. The Cosmos will hope for the Fury to stumble in their match next weekend and will also look to knock off the visiting Tampa Bay Rowdies. New York’s heritage rivals will be hungry to earn three points themselves so they can lock up the final playoff spot.

  • Kevin

    Big game on the 31st

    • slowleftarm

      Nah your dates are off – RBNY plays on the 1st.

  • Fastrightleg

    NYRB 20 years in a nothing to show.

    • slowleftarm

      Um, you mean except for the trophy they literally just won yesterday (and in 2013)?

      • Fastrightleg

        Did I miss the playoffs?? Ummm, don’t think so. There is plenty of time for” energy drink team ” to choke…so too speak. ..cough…cough…cough.

  • Fastrightleg

    No it came through. Unlike your team when it counts. Can I see a picture of the Champions Trophy?

    • slowleftarm

      You might want to try this site called “Google” – it helps you find things on the internet quickly.

      • Fastrightleg

        Google will show the trophy, but not red bull or metrostar name on it. 20 years and counting. You should check out some soccer history books, positive there are no championship listed there either.

  • Kevin

    its sad your team wins the Supporters Shield and you come on a NASL/Cosmos Forum within an hour or so of accomplishing that feat. Don’t be that guy all the time that has to pump his chest every time your team does something right and feel your above everyone else. Give it a break sometimes.

    • slowleftarm

      This is a NY soccer forum, not a Cosmos forum. And bragging about your team’s success if what fans do.

      • It’s one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever seen Kevin, him and his friends are all over the Miami FC comments section too trolling and insulting. It’s obvious that Red Bull and MLS bores them so silly that they would rather talk about the Cosmos and NASL. I can’t blame them of course, but at least have a little self respect and spend a little time on the RB articles.

        • slowleftarm

          Fans of all the area teams are on here posting and Cosmos fans (including your alter egos US Open Cup fan and angry bill) are trolling RBNY/NYCFC articles like it’s their job. What’s pathetic, Leo, is bragging about a bunch of imaginary accomplishments on a soccer website.

          • The jealousy is back. I’m sorry you feel like such a loser, but I’m sure someone appreciates you.

            • William

              Leo are u sure about that ?

          • trollleftarm

            So you admit it’s pathetic but still can’t stop yourself?