The New York Cosmos defeated SD Eibar in their friendly in Las Vegas on Wednesday night. Fielding a heavily modified squad with a surprise or two in it, the Cosmos bounced back from an early 2-0 deficit and forced penalty kicks, before edging them out for the win.
Brian Holt received some much-needed minutes in the net with a back line comprised of players needing them as well (David Ochieng and David Diosa), a player not officially back on the roster yet (Roversio), and a surprise. Kwame Watson-Siriboe, with NYCFC last season took up position at right back. TICC later found out that he was invited as a guest player.
The midfield saw one regular starter, Sebastian Guenzatti, with two midfielders needing minutes, Danny Szetela and Andres Flores, next to him. Another surprise was found here as Lucky Mkosana took an outside left position.
Pushing further up were Juan Arango and Yasmani Duk.
The Spanish team took an early lead as Gonzalo Escalante lost his marker and finished a free kick in the third minute. In the ninth, Antonio Luna made it 2-0 with a shot from outside the left side of the box to burn one in over Holt.
Duk put the Cosmos back in the game with a header off a Guenzatti cross just three minutes later.
Despite a few close chances, the equalizer didn’t come until the 53rd minute when Duk once again used his head, this time to finish a cross from Jairo Arrieta.
With the game finishing in a draw, the match went straight to penalties with each side missing one in their first five. Flores put in a cruel chip on the keeper during his.
With Eibar sending one off the crossbar, Diosa would finish his, giving the boys in green the win.
“We certainly enjoyed playing this friendly match against Eibar,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “Both teams tried to play an open match and that allowed space to be creative. La Liga is one of the most competitive leagues in the world and exposing our players to this kind of opponent was a great experience for them.”
The team were back on a red-eye and back home training this morning ahead of an important match with Rayo OKC on Saturday.
- Roversio served as a captain for this match, playing just over an hour. He looked healthy and strong, offering hope we may see him in the Open Cup and fall.
- Cosmos B player and Suffok Country product Kyle McTurk made his first team debut to the support of many.
- The only sub not used was Kevin Tenjo, Cosmos B goalkeeper
- This is just the second time the Cosmos have played a Liga side. Record now stands at 1-0-1.