Recap Cosmos run over Eddies, stay alive in race for first
New York Cosmos 3-0 FC Edmonton
37’ – Sebastian Guenzatti (Assist: Gaston Cellerino)
45’ – Raul (Assist: Ayoze)
85’ – Ruben Bover
- With a three-way race underway for the first-place spot in the combined table, the Cosmos were looking for a win to put them back into first place, taking advantage of an Ottawa stumble in Tampa Bay. With only three games remaining in the season, it was crucial that they take maximum points from this match. Missing players like Adam Moffat and Roversio due to injury and Andres Flores to international duty would be factors to consider.
- With only one playoff spot remaining, three teams have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the NASL pack. With the Strikers and the Rowdies failing to log wins, FC Edmonton looked for the three points to put themselves in the fourth place spot by evening’s end. With several players called away on international duty (Lance Laing, Sainey Nyassi, Hanson Boakai) and injuries to consider, only five subs would make the trip.
- While the Cosmos controlled possession in the first half, the Eddies presented a serious challenge due to their size and the physical nature of their game. A Tomi Ameobi attack in the 16th minute left Carlos Mendes on the floor and Hunter Gorskie just barely holding him off until the ball could get picked up by Jimmy Maurer. The Cosmos, forced to meet the physical challenge and throw it back at the Eddies, were able to use this to create the first goal. In the 37th minute, Raul won a ball in the air and Gaston Cellerino picked it up, connecting with Sebastian Guenzatti for the first goal, the second time in two games that they have done this.
- The Eddies repeatedly failed to mark the Cosmos adequately throughout the night and, in the 44th minute, this was their undoing. An unmarked Raul picked up an Ayoze corner that bounced through the area and buried it under a falling Matt Van Oekel to send the Cosmos into halftime with a 2-0 scoreline.
- The Eddies failed to make an impact in the second half, with the Cosmos attack keeping them on the back foot and the Eddies unable to take the initiative for most of the half. The 72nd minute saw a glimmer of hope for the visitors as Daryl Fordyce, entering the game five minutes earlier, managed a shot on goal, their first for the evening.
- Any hope of forcing a result came to an end in the 85th as Ruben Bover found his first goal of the season with a lovely chip over Van Oekel that curled into the far post. He nearly picked up a second in the 90th when his redirect was barely grabbed on the line.
- The Cosmos completely dominated the match in possession (59%-41%), corners (9-0), shots (17-4), shots on goal (12-1) and, of course, the scoreline. The dominant form they’ve displayed in their last two games gives them momentum as they prepare to close out the season and enter the playoffs. Their challenge will be to keep the momentum going with a bye weekend coming up. They also are a game up on United and the Fury and will watch their results closely.
- The Eddies are down, but not out. Currently tied for fifth place with the Strikers, they are a game up, which gives the Strikers a chance to pull ahead. They have played an equal amount of games as the Rowdies (currently in the final spot), but sit one point out of the playoffs.
- Back Line (NYC) – Faced with a tough, physical task, the Cosmos back line not only held, but only permitted one shot on goal in the whole game that didn’t come until the 72nd. Strong performances from center backs Mendes and Gorskie meant Maurer barely had anything to do across the evening and they combined for their second shutout in as many games.
- Gaston Cellerino (NYC) – With a goal and two assists in his last two games, and better looking performances in each game so far, Cellerino has made his case to be the regular starter up front. His first touch has improved noticeably and his hunger to finish and physical strength is a combination the Cosmos have not possessed until now.
- Sebastian Guenzatti (NYC) – Two goals in two games for Guenzatti are also making it more difficult for coach Savarese to select his starters. His obvious chemistry with Cellerino has paid off and could be crucial in the final stretch.
- Raul (NYC) – Returning from injury, there was some question as to whether the Cosmos would get the lethargic Raul on the pitch or the spirited one. The latter was the answer as Raul scored, tested the Eddies defense with more shots, and created chances for the Cosmos throughout the night.
- Ruben Bover (NYC) – An incredible goal aside, Bover is really beginning to stand out on the first team. Called up from Cosmos B, his increase in confidence is noticeable and he continues to make smart decisions both on and off the ball.
- Matt Van Oekel (FCE) – Yes, he gave up three goals and it may be strange to put him here, but he faced twelve shots on goal across the night, saving nine, including a miracle grab on the line in the 90th . He stood on his head and kept his team in it for much of this nightmare. The first two goals were a result of him being hung out to dry by his back line and that same weak defending made the third goal possible. But let’s talk more about that in…
- Eddies defense – This game was a complete meltdown from the back line. The right-side defenders were Albert Watson and Allan Zebie were part of a series of missed slides and clearance attempts on the first goal, but were so badly out of position, they could do nothing. The second goal had a wide-open Raul sit on that side and fire at his leisure. A poor Watson clearance to the foot of Bover and lackluster defending by Kareem Moses made the final goal possible.
- Tomi Ameobi – The talented, big forward should have been able to take advantage of a smaller back line that tended to drift forward and support the attack. But, he was made complete ineffective and eventually was brought off in the 72nd minute. One of the images of the night was the sight of a small Gorskie doing absolutely everything to deny him a 1 v 1 with Maurer.
Things You Won’t See in the Highlights:
Most teams traveling to Shuart come in a bus or some combination of vans or buses. But at the end of the evening, they were all piling into a small fleet of assorted SUVs, cars, etc. Maybe due to the travel costs they incur? Still an interesting sight to see for an away team.