Cosmos claw back a point in 6-goal thriller
On a night where fans were given collectable Marcos Senna T-shirts, and with the former Cosmos great in attendance, New York displayed a gutsy performance on Saturday to come from behind twice to salvage a point against the Indy Eleven.
“It was one of our best performances offensively,” said Cosmos head coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese after his team’s 3-3 draw in front of 6,100 fans at MCU Park. “We did a lot of good things.
“I think we still can work on some aspects, in which I think we can capitalize more of the opportunities that we have.”
After a pair of early goals from Indy midfielder Gerardo Torrado, the Cosmos settled into the match and possessed the ball for long spells.
New York’s first goal came in the 29th minute courtesy of Dejan Jakovic. The Canadian international rose above his defender and headed a floated ball from Andres Flores into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Jakovic, who was dangerous throughout the match on set pieces, hit the post on another occasion and earned Man of the Match honors for his inspired play.
“The boys showed a lot of character and heart to grind out a tie at the end,” said Jakovic. “Obviously it was a very poor start from us, but after that, we settled in and started to play our game.
“In the second half, we created a lot of chances. Their goalie, [Jon] Busch, made some big saves.”
Although down 2-1 at half time, the Cosmos dominated the first half, out-possessing Indy 70 to 30 percent.
In the 50th minute, after Israeli midfielder Kobi Moyal sniped a ball off the crossbar, Cosmos forward Pablo Vranjican calmly headed the ball into the back of the net for his third goal of the season as green and blue smoke cascaded onto the field from the stands.
Just three minutes later, the Cosmos were caught on the counter, and an unlucky slip from Jakovic — who was the only defender back — led to an Indy goal, putting the visitors up 3-2.
Despite going down again, the Cosmos dug in and pushed for an equalizer.
The third and final goal for the Cosmos came in the 84th minute when Juan Guerra headed home a ball from Emmanuel Ledesma.
Even after the Cosmos tied the game, they continued to push for a game winner, hitting the post in stoppage time and forcing Busch to make several important saves.
What was all the more impressive, was that the Cosmos’ fans stayed until the final whistle, standing on their feet and booing Indy’s players as they tried to kill the game.
“This was definitely an exciting game for the fans,” said Jakovic. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able get the three points.”
He added, “We’re a confident bunch of guys and we knew the chances were going to come as long as we kept our head in and kept our shape and attacked.”
Although a win would have been preferable, it was a well-fought match from the Cosmos on a warm summer night in Coney Island.
“It was a very good match, I think,” said Savarese. “The team constantly showed the desire to come back into the match; that’s the positive part about today. I just think that defensively, it could have been a little bit better.”
With the tie, the Cosmos moved into fifth place in the Fall Season table, four points behind Puerto Rico FC and Miami FC. New York remained in third place in the combined standings.
In addition to the winners of the Spring and Fall Seasons, the next two teams with the best overall record from the two campaigns will clinch a postseason berth.
New York is on the road Saturday against North Carolina FC. The team returns to MCU Park to face Jacksonville Armada FC on Sunday, Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
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