The Cosmos posted their second consecutive lost falling 1-0 to Minnesota United and breaking their all-time eight game unbeaten streak. A Christian Ramirez goal scored in the final minutes of the match after United had incurred a red card would be enough to keep United in sole possession of second place and leave the Cosmos in third.
A pair of goals were disallowed in the first 15 minutes of the match, one for each side. Jairo Arrieta managed a breakaway, putting a ball past Sammy Ndjock in the sixth minute and Christian Ramirez did the same against Jimmy Maurer on the other side of the pitch nine minutes later. Where Arrieta could have been argued to be onsides, Ramirez was clearly onsides with Hunter Freeman keeping him on.
The Cosmos controlled most of the play for the first half with the bulk of opportunities and keeping the ball on the Minnesota side of the field for most of the match, but failing to put the ball on frame for most of it. United had the best chance of the half, coming in the 41st minute when Ramirez spotted Ibson with some space and sent him a pass into the 18. Ibson put a shot high on Maurer that the keeper just managed to tip away.
Momentum swung the other way to start the second half as United began to win more balls with dangerous chances including a Ramirez shot inside the area that was barely tipped away by Jimmy Ockford.
The 53rd minute saw a major opportunity arise for the Cosmos. Loons center back Damian Lowe stretched out to reach for a ball and his follow through landed, studs-up, on the calf of Mike Lahoud earning him a straight red. After subbing in Bernardo Anor in for Ibson to start the half, the Loons would be forced to make a defensive sub, bringing on defender Tiago Calvano for offensive threat Ben Speas.
Two minutes later, Danny Cruz would spot Maurer off his line, firing a shot from halfway down the field and narrowly missing as Maurer barely made it back.The shot would be indicative of the attitude that the 10-man United side would have for the remainder of the match as more of the better chances seemed to go their way.
With New York still looking for a goal, Andres Flores was brought off in the 71st in favor of Yasmani Duk, making his debut with the Cosmos after being stuck in Bolivia for weeks due to complications with his visa. The Cosmos would also bring on Seba Guenzatti in the 85th in place of a Jairo Arrieta who struggled in his second straight match.
The subs were to no avail as Minnesota kept knocking on New York’s door. In the 87th minute, a throw-in from deep in the Cosmos defensive area played into a dangerous spot as Maurer missed the punch and the ball wound up by Ramirez who bicycled it on net before Gabriel Farfan cleared it out, nearly on the line.
For the second week in a row, New York would suffer heartbreak in the 90th minute. On a counter, Lance Laing headed the ball into the path of Justin Davis. The full back raced up the right side, spotting Ramirez breaking away from Carlos Mendes ahead and down the middle, sending him a perfect ball that he carried into the box and beat Maurer 1v1, slipping it past him and slipping his jersey off in celebration.
New York tried to find a goal in the six minutes of stoppage that followed, including an impressive dribble into the United area and past several defenders before hitting a curling ball over the far corner it was intended for.
But for the second week in a row, the Cosmos fall in the final minutes of a game, this time up a man. For the depth they possess, to not only lose this way, but fail to score a goal in open play in two games and to also let a 10-man side take control of a match they should be in charge of will force some hard questions. This may seem alarmist but with two losses in four matches in a ten-game season and Carolina already having taken all points through their four, two losses in the 90th are a serious problem that must be addressed and quickly.
As for Minnesota? Ninth time’s the charm, but they deserved and earned this win.