Cosmos celebrate one of their four goals. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
BROOKLYN – The Cosmos battled back from a two-goal, first-half deficit to register a 4-3 victory over 10-man Puerto Rico FC Sunday afternoon at MCU Park Sunday afternoon.
The game was postponed a day from Saturday due to an unplayable field due to inclement weather.
The delay was worth it for the Cosmos, who registered their first home win of the season.
“We are very happy because we won today’s match, got three points and are now in second place in the standings,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “Today, we showed great character as a team and we will continue working hard to grow and develop as the season progresses.”
The visitors got two early goals through strikers, Giuseppe Gentile and Emery Welshman. Welshman assisted Gentile’s right-footed shot from the center of the box in the 15th minute, before netting one himself in a similar fashion a minute later. Puerto Rico came close to a third goal in the 31st minute, but quick thinking by the Cosmos defense thwarted their efforts.
PRFC found themselves a man down in the 36th minute after midfielder Yuma’s challenge on midfielder, Juan Guerra, earned him a red card. The occurrence gave the Cosmos new momentum, who created tension at the opponent’s net. Moments later, Cosmos midfielder towards goal from inside the box, but saw it was saved at the bottom left corner by Puerto Rico goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg.
New York cut the deficit on the 42nd minute through midfielder, Andrés Flores. Ledesma’s cross to Flores gave the latter a goal from close range; his first of the 2017 Spring Season. Minutes later, Ledesma contributed to the equalizer by providing a cross for a close range, stoppage-time header by Guerra that flew past a helpless Spangenberg. The teams left for the break with 2-2 on the scoreboard.
The next 45 minutes kicked off in favor of the Cosmos. Defender Ryan Richter netted in his first goal of the season after a corner kick in the 50th minute, putting New York ahead. The 58th minute saw another Cosmos player get on the scoreboard. Midfielder Walter Restrepo found plenty of space for a solo run, sending a right-footed shot in to put New York ahead 4-2.
A 10-men Puerto Rico FC found an opportunity to get back into the game in the 64th minute, when Gentile and defender, Carlos Mendes, collided in the Cosmos box. Referee, Jorge Ramírez, pointed to the PK spot and PRFC defender, Cristiano Dias, slotted in the penalty.
The 81st minute had a close call for New York, as a dangerous free kick by forward, Héctor Ramos, swung in. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, who made his 100th club appearance for the Cosmos, came through to deny the visitors.
New York had a late effort when defender, Jimmy Mulligan, teamed up with midfielder, Kalif Alhassan, who saw his shot blocked by Puerto Rico’s back line. Alhassan had another chance in stoppage time with a shot that went just wide of the far post.
The Cosmos will travel to Albright College in Reading, Pa. to face Reading United AC in the second round of the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday at 7 pm.