Despite outplaying Hartford Athletic in the second half, the New York Cosmos were eliminated from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, dropping a 2-1 second-round decision at Al-Marzook Field at the University of Hartford on Tuesday night.
Hartford scored in the 16th minute as right back Harry Swartz tallied his first professional goal, slotting home a left-wing feed from atop the right side of the penalty area past goalkeeper Santiago Castano.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 25th minute when Mads Jorgensen sent a one-bounce shot to the near post around a two-man wall for a 2-0 margin.
Center back Emmanuele Sembroni had the Cosmos’ best opportunity in the first half in the 11th minute when he headed a shot off the crossbar from a corner kick.
The Cosmos came out with much more energy in the final half.
Striker Bledi Bardic, who connected for the game-winning goal in the 2-1 first-round win against Black Rock FC last week, pulled the Cosmos within one with a highlight-reel goal in the 58th minute. He drilled a 35-yard shot into the upper 90 in the right corner past goalkeeper Jacob Lissek.
The visitors threw just about everything at Lissek the rest of the way, but he and his teammates managed to hold off the Cosmos.
The Cosmos return to action with two matches this weekend. They visit the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds in Lowell, Mass., on Friday at 8 p.m. before returning to Hartford to meet Hartford City in a 4 p.m. Sunday encounter.
New York will host FC St. Pauli in an international friendly at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium in New York City on Thursday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m.
The Cosmos’ next National Premier Soccer League match will be at home against Hartford City at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y., on Saturday, June 1 at 8 p.m.
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