The Cosmos allowed the Deltas to score twice in the final 10th minutes as they dropped points at MCU Park. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — At this rate, the Cosmos can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.
They did it again Wednesday night, playing to yet another home draw, this time losing a two-goal lead in a 2-2 deadlock with the 10-man San Francisco Deltas at MCU Park.
The tie left the Cosmos in seventh place in the North American Soccer League fall season standings with a 1-2-6 mark and nine points. In the overall standings, the Cosmos are in fifth place with a 7-6-12 mark and 33 points.
Moreover, they are 3-3-6 at home this season, earning only 16 points out of possible 39, which could spell doom for their playoff hopes if they can’t turn it around during the stretch run.
They haven’t won at home since a 3-1 victory over Miami FC July 29.
“I think the thing that was missing was to be able to put the game down,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We gave them life, and at the end, when they scored the goal to make it 2-1, they believed that they could get back into the game. In the end, it’s more lost points that we had in our hands.”
After Juan Guerra (19th minute) and Pablo Vranjican (61st-minute penalty kick) lifted New York to a 2-0 advantage, the Delta rallied behind a pair of goals by second-half substitute Devon Sandoval in a five-minute span late in the match.
New York opened the scoring in the 19th minute, when Guerra connected to a rebound for his fifth goal of the season after Eugene Starikov’s shot was blocked by Deltas keeper Romuald Peiser.
The Cosmos were awarded a penalty kick in the 60th minute when former Red Bull Karl Ouimette brought down Javi Márquez in the box. A minute later, Vranjicán converted, sending the spot kick under the crossbar for his fifth goal for a 2-0 margin.
Four minutes later, events turned even more favorable for the Cosmos. A scuffle in the hosts’ third ended with the Deltas down to ten men, as Michael Stephens received a straight red card for an unnecessary kick to Ayoze while the Spaniard was down.
The tides turned in the opposite direction when the Deltas were awarded a spot kick with 11 minutes remaining. Sandoval beat keeper Brian Holt with a low shot. Sandoval bagged his brace in the 85th minute off a pass from Kyle Bekker, tying the game at 2-2.
“I was much more content about the performance of the team today,” Savarese, whose team rallied for a 3-3 home tie with Jacksonville Sunday. “I think we played very well today. The first half was a very good half. We created a lot of chances and scored two goals. I think we did enough to be able to win this game. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.”