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Cosmos come from behind twice to tie Indy

October 10, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Cosmos moved into the fourth and final playoff spot after they came back twice on Saturday to tie Indy Eleven 2-2. Photos courtesy of Indy Eleven
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Each and every game for the New York Cosmos at this point in the season is do-or-die.

One slip-up could mean missing the playoffs. A crucial win, on the other hand, could be the push needed to elevate the team into the postseason.

On the road Saturday, the Cosmos were doggedly determined to leave the Midwest with a point, coming from behind twice to tie Indy Eleven 2-2 in front of 8,998 fans at Carroll Stadium in Indianapolis.   

“I think we played a good match,” said Cosmos head coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese. “Overall, I think it was a positive game, an important point. We wanted a little bit more than that, but due to the conditions of the game, it was a positive match.

“When you come to play in a place like this and you score two goals you should be able to win, because these are difficult places to play. Unfortunately, in two different situations they were able to score.”

Indianapolis has indeed been a difficult place to play for New York. In fact, the team has never won a match there.

Don Smart put Indy on the board first in the 27th minute. After an uncharacteristic giveaway from Ayoze, Indy countered quickly. Smart took a touch outside the penalty area and drilled home a shot off the crossbar and into the net, leaving Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer helpless.

In the 36th minute, Javi Marquez rifled a shot with so much pace at Indy goalkeeper Jon Busch that Busch could only parry the ball in front of the goal. Emmanuel Ledesma showed good habits to crash the net and tap in the rebound for his team-leading seventh goal of the season.

Rain began to fall in the second half, but it did little to slow down the pace of the game.

The Cosmos assertively possessed the ball for much of the second half, allowing Indy few chances. It, therefore, came as a surprise when Indy took the lead against the run of play in the 64th minute.

Don Smart made a run down the right side of the field and provided an intelligent ball behind the Cosmos’ back line for an easy tap in at the far post for Eamon Zayed.

The Cosmos tied the game once again with a piece of individual brilliance from Marquez, who blew past a defender in the penalty area and rippled the net with a low driven shot that skipped off the wet pitch.

New York finished the game with 21 shots to Indy’s nine.

Although the Cosmos did not come away victorious, they earned a crucial point in a tight North American Soccer League playoff race.

The draw allowed them to move into a tie with Jacksonville for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Were the season to end today, however, the Cosmos would earn a birth to the postseason because they have a slightly better goal differential.

With four games remaining, including three against teams in the bottom half of the table, the Cosmos have a favorable schedule.

A meeting with Jacksonville on Oct. 22, however, could prove to be the difference between making the playoffs or not.

The Cosmos return to MCU Park on Saturday as they host FC Edmonton at 7 p.m. The game will be Italian Heritage Night, with the first 2,000 fans receiving a collectible Giorgio Chinaglia T-shirt.


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