The Cardiac Cosmos made another appearance on Saturday evening as they overturned an early 0-2 deficit with a pair of Adam Moffat penalties and a stoppage time winner from David Diosa. They remained unbeaten against the Rowdies this year and held onto their third-place position in the combined and fall tables.The Cosmos entered the match deciding to press early with only one holding mid in Adam Moffat and all three strikers on the team in the XI to open.
Defensively, captain Carlos Mendes sat this one out as Hunter Freeman and David Ochieng paired up at the centerback positions.
The match opened up as one would expect for an encounter between the two sides, plenty of fouls and disagreements between the officials and both coaches.
The Cosmos looked like the team that might strike first when, in the 11th minute, Yasmani Duk crossed a ball into the box to an unmarked Lucky Mkosana. Mkosana fired, but the ball was deflected out to Jairo Arrieta who attempted to poke it in. Goalkeeper Matt Pickens was equal to the task and, after a scramble on the line, made the stop.
But it was the other team in green who would find the net first when, in the seconds that followed, PC was fed the ball on the left side, before whipping a cross into the box. The ball got past both David Ochieng and arrived at the feet of Joe Cole, who managed to slip ahead of Ayoze and finish into a wide-open net.
Three, minutes later, the Rowdies found the net again.
Carlos Preciado penetrated the box, evading multiple defenders and crossing a ball through the six. With Jimmy Maurer unable to reach it and Jimmy Mulligan too far away from him to make the play, PC was all alone and able to knock in his first goal for the Rowdies in his first start.
New York got on the board in the 39th minute after a handball was called on Tamika Mkandawire in the box. Adam Moffat stepped to the spot for the second time in as many weeks sending the ball one way while Pickens went the other. in the moments following, Rowdies assistant coach Raoul Vos was ejected for his second straight game against the green and white in the aftermath.
Tempers flared shortly after as Darnell King fouled Moffat from behind and the Scot lifted his elbow. King shoved Moffat who retaliated by chesting him back. The players were swarmed by their teammates and the referees alike. Neil Collins tried to go at Moffat, shoving back Freeman who put himself between the two, then starting a short shoving match with Duk.
By the time the dust settled, King and Moffat were sent to the showers early with reds while Collins and Duk earned themselves yellows. Both sides quickly made subs, the Rowdies throwing in Justin Chavez for Eric Avila to compensate for the ejected defender, while the Cosmos pulled Arrieta for Danny Szetela to replace the lost holding mid.
The late-game heroics would ultimately come from the Cosmos bench. David Diosa, an 86th minute sub, was the one to find a winner. Sebastian Guenzatti, another late sub, made a run, feeding Andres Flores inside the right side of the box. Flores quickly hit a low cross to poorly-defended Diosa who volleyed it into the roof of the net.
One last play was required to hold on as Michael Nanchoff found some space in the box and fired a shot from the right that beat Maurer to the far post, but encountered a waiting Mulligan who headed the danger away.
The Cosmos held on for the win, extending their home unbeaten streak to 13 games. They next travel to face Puerto RIco FC in their only away trip for the month, before returning for another two-game homestand.