Some action of the Cosmos-Indy game. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
NEW YORK – The Cosmos and Indy Eleven traded goals to each earn a point in a 2-2 draw at Michael A. Carroll Stadium Saturday night.
The point moved the Cosmos into a tie for the fourth and final playoff position in the North American Soccer League combined standings with 37 points.
“I think we played a good match,” Cosmos head coach and sporting director Giovanni Savarese. “Overall I think it was a positive game, an important point. We wanted a little bit more than that, but due to the conditions of the game, it was a positive match.”
Early on, both sides got chances toward goal. In the ninth minute, Indy’s Gerardo Torrado sent a free kick toward the net, but Cosmos goalkeeper, Jimmy Maurer, came off his line to grab the ball.
The home side was able to take the lead in the 27th minute as midfielder, Don Smart, sent a high strike past Maurer at the near post off an assist from Marco Franco after a Cosmos turnover.
Less than 10 minutes later, New York got the equalizer. Lucky Mkosana made a steal in the offensive half and passed to Javi Márquez. The Spaniard fired a shot from outside the box and Indy goalkeeper, Jon Busch, was able to make the save. However, the keeper couldn’t corral the rebound and Emmanuel Ledesma charged in to bury the follow-up try, evening the score at 1-1 before the half.
At halftime, rain poured down in Indianapolis, but it did little to slow the pace of the game.
In similar fashion to the first half, it was Indy who struck first. Smart sent a cross across the box and Eamon Zayed slid in and slipped a shot past Maurer to give the home side the lead in the 64th minute.
Again, it took little time for the Cosmos to equalize, with the same players in the middle of the action. Ledesma found Márquez with a pass inside the box. With space to shoot, Márquez buried a low shot with his left foot past Busch to level the score at 2-2 in the 69th minute.
Both teams searched for a late winner, with Smart coming closest for Indy Eleven with a rocket off the crossbar in the 80th minute. Márquez had the last shot of the night for the Cosmos in stoppage time, but his long-range effort was caught by Busch to end the game.
The Cosmos outshot Indy 21-9 while having possession for 54.2% of the game. With the point, the Cosmos have earned a draw in each of their last four road games, dating back to August 11.
“When you come to play in a place like this and you score two goals you should be able to win, because these are difficult places to play,” Savarese said. “Unfortunately, in two different situations they were able to score.”
In net, Maurer stopped two of four shots he faced while Ledesma’s goal put him in the team lead with seven. Márquez’s equalizer came on one of his five shots on target to give him goals in two straight games and six on the season, ranking second on the club.
The Cosmos return to MCU Park for their next match on Saturday, October 14 to battle FC Edmonton at 7 p.m.