The six-game streak where neither side was able to find three points came to an end last weekend as the Indy Eleven scored two goals in the dying moments of the game to win 2-1. The Cosmos were unable to hold onto their lead from the second half and experienced their first loss of the season. The loss also pushes them out of first and into third place with matches against the top two clubs in the next two weeks.
With Ruben Bover‘s injury last week against the Armada and Jimmy Maurer unavailable due to the birth of his son, the Cosmos posted changes both to their formation and line-up.
Kyle Zobeck took over duties in the net and the same four-man back line from the previous two matches started.
Changes in the midfield as Adam Moffat started alongside Mike Lahoud in the holding midfield spots.
Niko Kranjčar, Juan Arango, and Sebastian Guenzatti played in attacking roles while Jairo Arrieta remained up top.
The first half ended at a 0-0 draw and with Indy looking like the stronger side. Most Cosmos chances went over the bar and many balls into the Indy area came via air, making it more difficult for the Cosmos to create chances. There was also a scare in the 18th minute as Jimmy Ockford and Justin Braun experienced a head-to-head collision. While Ockford played on and seemed fine post-game, this brought back reminders of his concussion issues in 2014. The Cosmos also were the recipients of some luck at the end of the first as Nicki Paterson was wrongly called offsides and Zobeck made a tremendous save on a Dylan Mares shot in stoppage time.
The Cosmos would strike first in the 51st when Guenzatti was slid into from behind in the box. With no contact on the ball, it was a clear penalty and Kranjčar would convert it to open his account for the Boys in Green.
Another scare the Cosmos followed in the 57th as Kyle Zobeck, making a catch on a ball, was the recipient of a kick from Braun, earning the Indy player a yellow and leaving Kyle laid out on the ground for a few minutes before he was able to continue play.
The 89th minute would see some controversy as Hunter Freeman was called for an arguably soft foul in the box. Eamon Zayed converted the chance and once again, everything stood even as the clubs marched on to a predictable 1-1 draw.
Except that wouldn’t be the case.
With second-half stoppage coming to a close, Justin Braun sent a ball into the area which Dylan Mares fired at Zobeck. Zobeck stopped the initial shot, but the rebound fell to Zayed who found enough open goal to score and get the win.
With the loss dropping them to third (tied on points with United), the Cosmos now face an arduous two weeks. This Saturday, they will face United in Minnesota in a battle for second (perhaps, first), before hosting a hot Carolina RailHawks team at home the week after in two weeks that could determine who gets the initial playoff advantage.
51′ – Niko Kranjčar (Penalty)
90’ – Éamon Zayed (Penalty)
90+5’ – Éamon Zayed
50′ – Nemanja Vukovic (Indy Eleven)
57′ – Justin Braun (Indy Eleven)
65′ – Greg Janicki (Indy Eleven)
89′ – Hunter Freeman (New York Cosmos)
90+5′ – Brad Ring (Indy Eleven)
63′ – Don Smart for Duke Lacroix
70′ – Andres Flores for Niko Kranjčar
73′ – Marco Franco in for Nemanja Vukovic
76′ – Wojciech Wojcik in for Nicki Paterson
81′ – Lucky Mkosana in for Jairo Arrieta
86′ – Gabriel Farfán in for Carlos Mendes