The Cosmos were held to just their second draw of the season at home as they were held scoreless by FC Edmonton.
The match held added significance for the club as Carlos Mendes, the captain, became the first Cosmos player to achieve 100 appearances for his club (between NASL regular-season, post-season, and US Open Cup action). Mendes was also awarded Man of the Match honors.
The Cosmos entered the match with their typical 4-1-4-1 as Roversio and Mendes paired up at the center back role, Lucky Mkosana took his now standard role on the left wing and Jairo Arrieta pushed up top.
Edmonton’s stalwart keeper, Matt Van Oekel was in the net, the only league keeper ahead of Maurer in goals against average and shutouts.
New York would have to deal with a setback as Roversio was forced to leave the match early, once again due to injury. Appearing to be a hamstring issue, the Brazilian attempted to re-enter, but was kept off the field as David Ochieng entered in his place.
The Cosmos came close to scoring on a number of chances in the first. In the 11th, an Ayoze cross into the box was almost flicked on by Andres Flores. In the 20th, Juan Arango just missed with a free kick, smacking one off the upright.
Edmonton would return the favor in the 40th minute when Sainey Nyassi picked up a Van Oekel goal kick, raced to the Cosmos’ box and fired a rocket off the crossbar.
The score would hold through halftime.
The second half kicked off with a series of dangerous chances for the home team. The Eddies caught a break, however, when Flores was brought down from behind on a breakaway by Albert Watson in the 54th minute. Watson received a yellow.
Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese’s feelings on the Watson yellow were clear when asked if the call was correct.
“What do you think?” he asked with a laugh.
The Eddies keeper was called upon to make a big save in the 66th as he knocked away another Arango free kick and shouts for a penalty went unheeded as the Venezuelan went down in the box three minutes later.
The final ten minutes of regulation and stoppage time saw a few more chances as Mkosana sent a ball over the bar and Sebastian Guenzatti and David Diosa each had shots saved by Van Oekel.
While not the result they hoped for, Savarese focused on the positives, considering how their two losses in Edmonton had played out.
“For us to have the maturity to continue to go forward, to try and find the goal. but always being well-balanced not to give them the chance to get the score, we have to look at that as a very positive point. For us, it’s a good thing because it takes away two points from Edmonton, as well.”
The Cosmos remain atop the NASL Fall and Combined tables and will travel to Indy this weekend for a match at the site of their first loss of the year.