The New York Cosmos got goals from Leo Fernandes and an own goal by San Antonio’s Brad Rusin to defeat the Scorpions 2-1 before 4,0006 fans at Shuart Stadium. The win extended the Cosmos unbeaten streak to five games.
The Cosmos were forced to play this match without Head Coach Giovanni Savarese who was ineligible to coach after being carded in the team’s last game. Assistant Coach Carlos Llamosa took over and the team responded well early.
New York controlled the tempo of the match in the first 25 minutes and had the early possession advantage. The Scorpions are known as a counter-attacking team and they continued to use that strategy throughout the first half.
San Antonio played their best soccer in the final 20 minutes of the first half and drew first blood during stoppage time. A well-timed cross by Billy Forbes found Milton Palcios who shot the ball into the net off the far post and gave the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Cosmos answered back quickly. A long distance shot by Raul bounced off the cross bar and Leo Fernandes scored his sixth goal of the season by heading it home just seconds before the end of the first half. The Midfielder had apparently scored on an almost identical play in the 40th minute but the goal was waived off because Fernandes was called offsides.
“I did say finally,” Fernandes admitted when the goal went in. “I looked at the linesman right away and saw his flag was down so I was able to celebrate with the team.”
The tying goal was a momentum changer.
“It means a lot,” Coach Llamosa explained when asked about the goal in the waning seconds of stoppage time in the first half. “They play very defensively and have a fast pace up front. We knew playing at home we had to set the tempo of the game…Scoring before the half was important because it gave us more confidence for the second half.”
There was a definite carryover effect. A free kick by Hunter Freeman forced the Scorpions into a difficult defensive position and the ball went into the net off San Antonio defender Brad Rusin in the 47th minute. The Cosmos led 2-1.
The New York defense did a fine job of shutting down the San Antonio attack in the second half. The Scorpions managed only two shots in the final 45 minutes. Their best scoring chance came in the final few minutes on a dangerous cross in close but goaltender Jimmy Maurer was able to read the play and gain control of the ball to diffuse the scoring opportunity.
“We were able to score in the first minute of the second half and we kept the game in control,” Fernandes said. “We didn’t give them many clear-cut opportunities. That’s a credit to our defense and Jimmy [Maurer].”
Despite taking the lead, the Cosmos continued to press for more offense and had the better scoring chances late. Ayoze had a good scoring chance in the 64th minute but his shot sailed wide of the net. Then, Adam Moffatt had a great scoring chance in the 83rd minute but his shot deflected off a defender which set up a corner kick for New York.
The Cosmos were given an additional advantage in the 84th minute when former Cosmos midfielder Joseph Nane was given a red card and ejected from the match. That left San Antonio with only 10 players as they tried to tie the match in the final minutes.
The win improves the Cosmos record to 3-3-1 in the NASL’s fall season. The club’s next match will be on Saturday, August 22 when they travel to meet the Carolina RailHawks at 7:30 pm. New York will return home on August 30 when they host the RailHawks for a 4:00 pm match.
1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Post-Match video:
Leo Fernandes, Jimmy Maurer and Assistant Coach Carlos Llamosa
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