Cosmos send NYCFC packing, advance to USOC Round of 16
Last year, the Cosmos needed penalty kicks following to put away NthYCFC after playing 120 minutes. This year, the Cosmos would get all they needed in 90. One goal off the head of Danny Szetela would advance the boys in green to the Round of 16 for the third time in as many years.
The Cosmos came out with no real surprises on the roster, save for one. Roversio was not only in the 18, he cracked the Starting XI.
Surprises continued on the bench with the returns of Adam Moffat and Alexis Velela to the 18 after being sidelined by injury.
The Cosmos continued to employ the 4-1-4-1 formation that has given them the most success this season in the NASL.
After comments from NYCFC that they intended to take the game seriously, the jury is out on whether they did.
The entirety of the City back line was subbed out, with Shannon Gomez making his first appearance of the season, as well as goalkeeper Eirik Johansen. Mix Diskerud was the only week-to-week starter in the midfield, as Khiry Shelton was up front.
Both sides challenged each other early, but the Cosmos got the better of the chances in the first half. They got the first real chance of the night when Yohandry Orozco delivered a ball into the box for Juan Arango who fired a shot on net that Johansen was able to get a glove on and deflect in the sixth minute. NYCFC got a chance of their own in the fifteenth as a Gomez cross into the box ended with a Kwadwo Poku header that took a bounce before ending up in the hands of Jimmy Maurer. Seconds later, the Cosmos returned from that play with an Orozco shot and another save from Johansen.
The Cosmos back line prevented an early City lead just moments after that as Maurer left his line to clear a ball from the edge of the box, nearly gifting a goal to Disekrud, but his low shot at the open net was correctly read and picked off by Ayoze.
The Cosmos came close to getting on the board in the 37th as Jairo Arrieta drew three defenders before slipping a ball over the top to Danny Szetela who made an unopposed run down the middle. The ball escaped him after his first touch and Johansen was able to step out and make the grab. Maurer would make a grab on an easy Diego Martinez ball on frame two minutes later.
The Cosmos were the first to make the books as Arango received a yellow for a tough foul on Poku in the 43rd. City would not stay out of the book much longer as Jefferson Mena committed one on Arrieta and saw a card just a minute later.
The yellows continued in the second half with one in the 52nd to White for dissent and one to Szetela a minute later for taking the feet of Mehdi Ballouchy out from under him.
City saw a great chance in the 54th as Martinez got a clear look at net and fired a curling ball from about 25 yards out that Maurer just parried away before it was cleared. Martinez was also involved shortly after delivering a cross to Diskerud that he headed wide.
With NYCFC getting the bulk of the chances through most of the second half, Maurer had to make another parry on a shot from Patrick Mullins in the 68th.
NYCFC made the first substitution of match bringing on forward Tony Taylor for Khiry Shelton in the 73rd. Seconds later, they came within inches of taking the lead.
Visit ThisIsCosmosCountry.com for the full post.