Soccer MPR — August 11, 2014 at 1:42 am

Cosmos Rallied To Defeat Atlanta

Image Credit: Matthew Alilionis

Image Credit: Matthew Alilionis

ATLANTA – The New York Cosmos endured a weather delay of more than three and a half hours, rallied from an early 1-0 deficit and came away with a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Silverbacks in a North American Soccer League fall season match that ended early Sunday morning.

“For us to come away with three points is a great thing,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “But I just think the league needs to make better decisions because you jeopardize the health of the players in a situation like this.”

The Cosmos (2-2-2) fell behind in the 12th minute on a wonder strike by Silverbacks midfielder Junior Burgos, who blasted a 35-yard free kick that eluded Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.

Eleven minutes later, severe thunderstorms delayed the match until a little after 11:30 p.m. ET. The wait was unprecedented for Savarese.

“I’ve seen games rained out,” he said. “But three and a half hours wait to step back on the field? I’ve never experienced that. It wasn’t a good situation. In the end (our) guys were ready. As you could see from the very first minute once we restarted the game, (our) guys did very well.”

In the 41st minute, the Silverbacks (2-2-1) were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Junior Sandoval was issued a straight red card for his part in an altercation in front of the Cosmos bench.

Moments before halftime, left back Ayoze played to left winger Hagop Chirishian, who eluded a pair of defenders with a darting run before sending the ball to the back post. Midfielder Andrés Flores was there to connect, sliding in to score his first goal in a Cosmos uniform.

In the 61st minute, former Spanish international midfielder Marcos Senna curled a 29-yard free kick over the Silverbacks wall and into the upper left corner of the net to put the Cosmos in front, 2-1.

“Marcos played a very good match, and that finish was clinical,” Savarese said. “We know what he can bring to the team. He’s a quality player, and he’s getting back into shape after being hurt.”

The defending Soccer Bowl champions are six points clear of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers for the first wild card playoff berth. New York is now 3-0 at Silverbacks Park - their other two wins were identical 1-0 scorelines in a seven-day span to end the 2013 fall campaign.

“We worked very hard to make sure we made good decisions,” Savarese said. “The team showed a lot of character today and it was a very strong win.”


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