By Cesar Trelles – 8/31/14
After going up 2-0 in the first half, let lead slip away in the second half.
A couple of losses and a couple of draws can happen to defending champions in the season following a triumphant championship season. But when the losses and draws start to add up, the amount of missed points are hard to ignore and eventually they will catch up to a team and their aspirations of another championship. Thus, this is the predicament that the New York Cosmos currently find themselves in.
Saturday night the Cosmos got off to one of their better starts to a match in quite some time as they were able to get on the scoreboard in the sixth minute. Andres Flores raced down the left wing and found an unmarked David Diosa in the box with a nice cross who then headed the ball into the net for the early 1-0 lead. The Cosmos continued to pressure Indy Eleven throughout the half and it was looking as the a Cosmos offense was starting to find its way. Just before halftime, the Cosmos new addition Danny Mwanga delivered a nice cross to Mads Stokkelien who fired the ball into the net for the Cosmos second goal of the match. The goal which was Stokkelien’s team leading fifth of the year, gave the Cosmos a 2-0 lead which would hold until halftime.
In the second half however things would take a turn for the worse for the Cosmos. In the 61st minute, Michael Ambersely would find the back of the net against Kyle Zobeck to make it a 2-1 match. Zobeck got his first start for the Cosmos as a result of Jimmy Maurer’s red card lat Saturday against Minnesota United.
Shortly after Ambersley’s goal, Mwanga fired another beautiful cross to find Mads Stokkelien once again , however this time Stokkelien’s shot was stopped by Indy’s goalkeeper Kristian Nicht. The Cosmos continued to create several more opportunities in the second half with the best opportunity coming in the 87th minute when Joseph Nane fired a shot from close range that was stopped by Nicht. Nane was able to get the rebound but his follow up shot went wide right of the net for another Cosmos missed opportunity.
The final blow for the Cosmos came in injury time when Jermaine Johnson aired a shot over Kyle Zobeck from about 25 yards out as Zobeck was way off of his line and was unable to get back in time to stop the ball from going into the net. The goal came in the 93rd minute of play- leaving the Cosmos a mere two minutes to find another goal. They were unable to do that and another precious two points slipped away as the match ended in a draw.
With the draw, the Cosmos slipped to 7th place in the fall NASL standings with ten points. The league leading San Antonio a Scorpions sit atop of the table with 19 points. Fortunately still for the Cosmos, the combined season table finds them in third place with 29 points which is four points better than the Fort Lauderdale Stikers who sit in fourth place in the combined table. The Cosmos will come back home next Saturday to face the Strikers at 7:30 in Shuart stadium. A win in a must for the Cosmos if they would like to remain in the third spot for the playoffs.