Bledi Bardic scored off a header six minutes into stoppage time to lift the New York Cosmos to a 2-1 victory over Black Rock FC in a first-round match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium on Wednesday night.
Black Rock FC kept it close and equalized on Komar Martinez-Paiz’s goal in the 87th minute. It appeared the game was heading to extra time before Bardic took matters into his own hands.
The Cosmos had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 12th minute after Black Rock FC was called for a hand ball in the penalty area. Captain Danny Szetela took the ensuing penalty kick and sent a shot to the lower right corner that goalkeeper Leland Gazo dove to his left to knock away.
New York took the lead in the 28th minute as forward Aaron Dennis slotted home a left-wing cross from Giuseppe Barone from the goal mouth past Gazo for a 1-0 lead and his third goal in as many matches.
The Cosmos advanced to the second round as they will meet Hartford Athletic (USL Championship) at Al-Marzook Field at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn. next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.