The New York Cosmos defeated Miami FC by a score of 3-0, earning their second consecutive shutout win and taking the top spot in the NASL spring table on goal differential with a RailHawks loss the same evening. The Cosmos dominated the match completely, giving little, if any, chance for Miami to contest the game.
The line-up was exactly the same as last week’s with one notable absence: Niko Kranjčar. Andres Flores instead took his spot. With One Word Sports reporting the Croatian out with a hamstring injury, there were initial concerns about how the Cosmos might perform. Those concerns were quickly laid to rest.
New York first struck in the 18th minute. After a corner kick, Hunter Freeman spotted a trio of open Cosmos on the six yard line and sent in a ball that Juan Arango headed perfectly past Daniel Vega to put the Cosmos ahead.
The Cosmos nearly doubled their lead in the 28th when Yohandry Orozco nearly managed to a shot on goal. Vega left his net and cut off his angle forcing it wide.
New York would get back on the board in the 34th when a poorly cleared ball by Miami was intercepted by Gabriel Farfán on the edge of the 18 then fired back on goal to give the Cosmos a 2-0 lead entering the half.
Miami made a pair of substitutions to start the half with Jaime Chavez in for Hugo Leroux and Brad Rusin in for Wilson Palacios. It was to no avail as Carlos Mendes spotted Jairo Arrieta streaking downfield and hit him with a perfect long ball as the Costa Rican slipped behind the defense going 1v1 with an incoming Vega and beating the keeper just five minutes later.
New York’s substitutions began in the 72nd minute with Jimmy Ockford entering for Orozco, pushing Freeman wide and allowing Farfán to focus his efforts on attack.
A pair of close chances followed. First, Sebastian Guenzatti with a blocked shot where Arango was available for a pass in the 71st. Freeman had the next close chance with a shot that rang off the goalpost before being cleared just four minutes later.
Lucky Mkosana was the next to make an appearance in the 77th minute, replacing Arrieta and having two close chances in the final ten minutes.
Danny Szetela would make an appearance in his second consecutive match, entering in stoppage time for Arango.
The Cosmos kept control of the match with 66% possession and nearly 300 more passes than the home team. On top of that, their passing accuracy was 85% with that number dropping only 5% in the opposing half. This is also shutout number 29 for Jimmy Maurer, who has posted four this season, giving up only one goal in five appearances. Add in things like Miami’s insistence on leaving attacking players unmarked in the box and it was always going to turn out this way.
After a closely contested match against Carolina, a blowout win on the road could be just what the Cosmos needed, especially with a trip to Edmonton in the cards, a place where they have often struggled.
You can hear more on our thoughts on this match on this week’s episode of Cosmos Country Podcast.