The New York Cosmos extended their unbeaten streak to seven games with a scoreless draw in Ft. Lauderdale. Looking like the better side and holding their own despite a pair of key injuries, they could not capitalize on their chances as Strikers keeper Bruno kept them out of the net.
Adam Moffat took the lone holding mid spot and Lucky Mkosana took the left wing as Jairo Arrieta stayed up top.
With their international call-ups, the Cosmos only had five subs available and four outfield players.
While the Cosmos looked like the better side for much of the first half, they were simply unable to capitalize with nearly 60% of the ball and 11 shots, 3 of them on goal compared to the Strikers who put 1 of their 2 shots on goal.
Before the halftime whistle, each side would make an injury sub. Gale Agbossoumonde left in the 32nd minute, replaced by Julius James for the Strikers
The Cosmos suffered another blow to their back line as Ayoze left in the 41st minute after trying to play through what appeared to be a knee injury. He was replaced by Alexis Velela, who made his first league appearance for the green and white. The formation shifted as Jimmy Mulligan switched over to the left side to take Ayoze’s spot, allowing the US youth international to stay on the right.
It looked like the Cosmos might have jumped out to a 1-0 lead before the end of the first when Sebastian Guenzatti scored, however the assist from Ruben Bover was correctly ruled offsides after he picked up a rebound from a Bruno save in the moments before.
The Cosmos continued their better performance in the second half adding another 9 shots, 5 of them on goal. However, keeper Bruno was up to the task stopping a number of shots fired at him and coming up big for the rest and holding the Cosmos scoreless.
Ft Lauderdale also threatened late in the match as New York lost another defender. Roversio went down in the 81st minute and was replaced by Danny Szetela and the Strikers attempted to capitalize with Amauri and Paulo Junior putting more pressure on the back line, but they did not find the net either.
New York stays in first place with the road point, three points ahead of Edmonton in the fall table and also hold first on the combined table, four points ahead of the Eddies. However, it should be noted that the Canadian side has two games in hand.
Jimmy Maurer’s ninth shutout of the year puts him back in second place for shutouts and goals against.
The Cosmos return home to play Minnesota on Saturday night in their first rematch since United scored a 90th minute winner to shut them out at NSC Stadium back in April.
Check out highlights below.