“It’s a shame we walked out of here with just one point, but that’s soccer,” explained New York’s Hunter Freeman. “It’s definitely frustrating when you dominate a game like that.”
The flow of the match was almost all Cosmos. New York controlled the tempo and had possession of the ball for most of the first half, holding Atlanta without a shot on goal. There were several quality scoring chances but while the home team came close several times, they were unable to solve Atlanta goalie Joe Nasco who finished with eight saves and was undoubtedly the player of the match.
“He’s a really good goalkeeper, probably the best one we’ve faced so far,” admitted midfielder Marcos Senna. “He’s very courageous, he comes out a lot, strong and he kept them in the game. “
The Cosmos lost Alessandro Noselli in the 26th minute of the match when he suffered a pulled muscle. He was replaced by Satoru Kashiwase who had three quality scoring chances in the second half but was just not able to find the back of the net. Overall, Kashiwase gave a strong performance in his first extended action for New York this season.
The Cosmos broke on top in the 44th minute of the match when Senna was awarded a penalty kick. He beat Nasco to the left side of the goal to make it 1-0 Cosmos at the break.
Atlanta coach Brian Haynes made some adjustments at halftime and the first few minutes of the second half were the strongest of the match for his club. They tied things up on a header by Shane Moroney off a free kick by Pablo Cruz in the 49th minute.
Once Atlanta evened the score, New York once again took control of the play and added five more shots on goal in the second half but none of them ended up behind Nasco.
The Cosmos had won their two previous home games in stoppage time, but were unable to break the deadlock this time despite playing 11-on-10 for the final two minutes, after Pedro Mendes of Atlanta received his second yellow card of the match and was ejected.
“Obviously, we’re a little disappointed with the result because we played so well. But we have to take the positive from the match and boost our morale,” Senna explained. “Everybody’s happy with how we played. We performed well.”
Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese thinks his team played their best soccer yet despite having to settle for a draw. “Every game the team looks better. I think today was probably our best game so far. We completely dominated the ball, we created chances. They only had one opportunity which was the goal which was on a free kick. I see the team has matured very much.”
The Cosmos (2-1-3) return to action next Saturday when they host the Minnesota United at 7:00 PM at Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University.
Fans are encouraged to check out 1495 Sports TV for post match interviews with Hunter Freeman and Marcos Senna: