Eric Calvillo, who scored twice, and Kobi Moyal, who tallied in his Cosmos debut, celebrate the latter’s goal. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Eric Calvillo doubled his season goal production during a memorable 15-minute span Saturday night to power the Cosmos to a 2-1 victory over Miami FC in the opening game of the North American Soccer League fall season for both clubs at MCU Park.
The 19-year-old midfielder broke a 1-1 deadlock in the 79th minute to let the Cosmos start the second half of their campaign on the right foot. Calvillo snapped a hard, 25-yard drive past goalkeeper Mario Daniel Vega for his third goal this season.
Second-half sub Kobi Moyal gave the hosts some breathing room, scoring his first goal only 16 minutes after coming on for Jimmy Mulligan, on a breakaway in the 90th minute.
The Cosmos (6-4-6), who finished third in the spring season, had lost two of their matches to Miami (11-2-3). In fact, the Cosmos have inflicted two of Miami’s three defeats this season.
New York connected in the 64th minute on Calvillo’s first goal of the match. Former New York City FC midfielder Kwadwo Poku fouled right back Ryan Richter on the top right of the box for a penalty kick. Ayoze rammed a left-footed shot off the crossbar. An onrushing Calvillo drilled the ball into the back of the net past goalkeeper for a 1-0 advantage.
It did not take long for the visitors to equalize as Poku atoned for his penalty, converting an Ariel Martinez pass from the right side of the area past keeper Jimmy Mauer for his fifth goal of the season and a 1-1 deadlock in the 69th minute.
A scoreless first half was highlighted by a pair of red cards — one for each side.
Referee Ramy Touchan censured the Cosmos first as he dismissed midfielder Emmanuel Ledesma for a high tackle on defender Rhett Bernstein in the 19th minute. As Ledesma exited the field while walking toward the first base dugout, the partisan crowd applauded the midfielder as he returned the favor.
Six minutes later, both teams were even at 10 players apiece as former Cosmos defender Hunter Freeman was given his marching orders for a hard tackle.
Forward Eugene Starikov had the Cosmos’ best opportunity in the 29th minute as he headed a shot off the right post.
Miami forward Stefano Pinho came close with a close-range shot of his own in the 51st minute as he rattled an attempt off the left post.