Emmanuel Ledesma scored his sixth goal of the season for the Cosmos. (Photo by courtesy of the Cosmos)

EDMONTON – Emannuel Ledesma scored the equalizer in the 66th minute to lift the Cosmos to a 1-1 draw with FC Edmonton in a North American Soccer League match at Clarke Stadium Friday night.

The road tie and point lifted the Cosmos to a 1-1-1 mark this fall season.

FC Edmonton had grabbed a 1-0 halftime advantage before New York’s improved play help the visitors pull even in the second half.

“We had more mobility. We controlled the ball and were more dangerous going forward,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “I still felt we were not sorted enough, but at the end, a great goal by Ledesma. I thought it was fantastic. Then [there was] a questionable call that maybe could have went our way.

“We moved the ball a lot faster, we found spaces, countered quicker and that’s why we were able to find the equalizer a lot easier. When Eugene [Starikov] came inside the game, I think he gave us the mobility that we needed as well.”
The Cosmos looked confident from the opening kickoff, controlling the flow of the game and pushing forward with plenty of long-range efforts.

HIGHLIGHTS: A Ledesma screamer wins the Cosmos a valuable point on the road at FC Edmonton.#FCEvNYC

تم نشره بواسطة ‏‎New York Cosmos‎‏ في 11 أغسطس، 2017

Video courtesy of the Cosmos’ Facebook page

The hosts tested goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer, who dove to his right to deny a goal in the eighth minute. Six minutes later, giveaway by Abdoulaye Diakité almost turned into a Cosmos score. The loose ball was picked up by Pablo Vranjicán, who passed to Javi Márquez. The Spaniard won New York a corner kick after powering a promising shot from the top of the box.

Edmonton went for goal again in the 25th minute, but Maurer denied Dustin Corea’s left-footed shot from outside the area. Ledesma was a constant presence throughout the half, making the Cosmos look dangerous. The midfielder’s right-footed strike in the 40th minute, teed up by Márquez, forced Eddies keeper Tyson Farago to punch out his effort for a corner kick.

The Eddie went ahead just before the break. Daryl Fordyce connected to a Ben Fisk cross, heading in home from the edge of the six-yard box in the 45th minute.

New York earned a set piece in the 56th minute after Ledesma was brought down by Allan Zebie, but the Argentine’s free kick was caught by a flying Farago. The Cosmos brought on Starikov in the 59th minute to liven up the attack. Five minutes later, the forward put his left foot to use, blasting on target and making Farago dive to block his shot.

New York produced the equalizer in the 66th minute through Ledesma, who drove a bullet from the top of the box inside the near post. The Argentine’s sixth goal prolonged the team’s goal-scoring streak – the Cosmos have scored in nine consecutive road games, matching a mark they reached between May 17 and Sept. 28, 2014.

Márquez and company continued to hound the final third. A controversial call added some drama to the final minutes of the game when substitute Kobi Moyal went down in the box, and referee, Alain Ruch, opted to let play continue.