By Dylan Butler
The New York Cosmos still might play in Soccer Bowl 2013, but they will have to wait another week to clinch their spot after FC Edmonton rallied for a 1-1 tie Sunday afternoon in the Cosmos home finale at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
David Proctor headed in a 90th minute equalizer for FC Edmonton, which played the Cosmos to a second 1-1 draw during the fall season.
“It feels like we didn't accomplish our target tonight, definitely because we expected at the end to be able to get a win,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. “They tied three minutes from the end, if you consider stoppage time as well. I wouldn't consider it a loss, but definitely it was not the result we were looking for.”
What was most disheartening for Savarese was the equalizer came on an FC Edmonton corner kick, which was played in by Lance Laing to Proctor at the edge of the six-yard box.
“It’s just situations that happen,” Savarese said. “We actually mentioned in the locker room that we felt the only times they could be dangerous was on set pieces. That ended up how they scored the goal.”
“It was a little difficult because I had control of my man and I was far post, but anytime a ball bounces like that, we didn’t attack it as a team well enough,” Cosmos captain Carlos Mendes said. “They’re very good at that. They live off their set pieces.”
Until Proctor’s tying goal, Alessandro Noselli was the hero for the New York Cosmos. For the second time in as many matches, the Italian forward came off the bench to second a second-half goal, taking a pass from Stefan Dimitrov to score his third goal of the year.
Noselli made a difference as soon as he stepped on the pitch for Paulo Mendes in the 61st minute, putting a low shot just wide to Edmonton goalkeeper Lance Parker’s right.
Two minutes later, Noselli was on the end of a nice combination that started with a pass from Marcos Senna to Danny Szetela, but the Italian’s sliding attempt from just inside the six-yard box was saved by Parker in the 64th minute.
Noselli put the ball over the crossbar in the 68th minute following a quick free kick and then put a scissors kick wide of the far post two minutes later before netting the game’s first goal.
“For the second time I say thanks to Dimi because he gave me a great ball. Only thing [I could do] was shoot in the net,” Noselli said. “I’m happy for the goal, but it’s not a good day for me because after the goal we thought the championship was ours. But in the soccer, it happens.”
Instead, FC Edmonton spoiled the party, ending the Cosmos winning streak at five games.
Now the Cosmos, which extend their unbeaten streak to nine games and hold a five-point lead over the Tampa Bay Rowdies atop the NASL fall standings, will look to regroup against San Antonio next Saturday night. A win in that game clinches a berth in Soccer Bowl 2013 against the Atlanta Silverbacks.
“It’s a reminder that this league is competitive, it’s tough. We had a good run for a few games,” Savarese said. “It’s a good situation for us to understand we need to be aware if we make it to the finals it will be very difficult.”
|Scorpions Sign Danny Barrera, Jonathan Fana|
|Cosmos Defender To Play In Testimonial Match|
|Milton Blanco Joins FC Edmonton|
|Ottawa Fury FC Sign Irish Midfielder Richie Ryan|
|Silverbacks Exercise Contract Options To 11 Players For 2014 NASL Season|
|Silverbacks Part Ways With Haynes|
|Jacksonville To Host Series Of Town Hall Supporters Forums|
|Inaugural CONCACAF Awards To Be Presented This Month|
|FC Edmonton-Ottawa Fury Match-up Opens 2014 Canadian Championship|
|Virginia Cavalry FC To Begin Play In 2015|
|New York Cosmos||14||9||4||1||10||31|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||14||5||5||4||3||20|
|Minnesota United FC||14||6||2||6||2||20|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||14||5||3||6||-2||18|
|San Antonio Scorpions||14||3||1||10||-9||10|
|San Antonio Scorpions||12||6||2||4||4||20|
|Tampa Bay Rowdies||12||5||3||4||5||18|
|Minnesota United FC||12||4||2||6||-5||14|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||12||2||2||8||-14||8|