Darwin Espinal equalized in the 57th minute. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
HAMTRACMCK, Mich. — Darwin Espinal connected on a second-half goal as the 10-man New York Cosmos overcame a one-goal deficit to register a 1-1 draw with Detroit City FC in NPSL Members Cup action at Keyworth Stadium on Saturday night.
The result moved the first-place Cosmos (14 points) to 4-0-2 as the team dropped full points on the road after going 15-0-0 over the past two years. Second-place Detroit (3-0-1, 10) failed to win for the first time this season.
The Cosmos were forced to play the final 19 minutes of the match plus five minutes of stoppage time a man down after striker Isaac Acuna was red carded in the 73rd minute. Marcello Borges had fouled Acuna on the right flank. Acuna got up and bumped into the Detroit City player, knocking him to the ground.
Goalkeeper Santiago Castano made a save off a Detroit City FC header three minutes into added time to preserve the tie.
Less than two minutes into the second half, the hosts struck first as Stephen Carroll converted a corner kick past Castano to grab a 1-0 lead.
New York, however, equalized in the 57th minute after Acuna was fouled outside the penalty area as Detroit brought every player in the box to defend. Espinal, who had come close on a few set pieces in the first half, powered his attempt over a six-man wall into the upper right corner out of the reach of goalkeeper Nate Steinwascher for a 1-1 deadlock.
The start of the match was delayed a hour half due to lightning, but that did not deter the enthusiasm of both sides as the game was played at a high pace for the first quarter hour.
The Cosmos dominated the opening 45 minutes with seemingly countless corner kicks and free kicks but could not convert as their shots sailed off target or were saved by Steinwascher.
Steinwascher’s most memorable stops in the first half came off an Aaron Dennis attempt from the top right side of the box in the 21st minute and a pair of Espinal free kicks just outside the penalty area in the 41st and 45th minutes.
The Cosmos return home to Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. to host Chattanooga FC on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.