RECAP | Armada FC 1, Cosmos 0

Tommy Krizanovic's goal gives Jacksonville a victory as New York loses for the first time in league play in 2015
Jacksonville Armada FC Staff | Jul 18, 2015


There were bound to be trying times during Jacksonville Armada FC’s inaugural season, and on paper, none looked more bleak than Saturday.

But despite coming off three shutout losses, being without four of their best players and facing the unbeaten New York Cosmos, the Armada FC pieced together one of their most complete performances, dispatching the Spring Season winners, 1-0, in front of 8,167 fans at Community First Park.

In his first start, Jacksonville native Tommy Krizanovic played the role of hometown hero, tapping in an Akeil Barrett header in the 54th minute for his first goal. From there, the Armada FC showed something that had been missing too often in previous matches - resolute defending.

Instead of his usual swashbuckling style, Armada FC head coach Guillermo Hoyos subbed on two defenders for forwards, and his side rode out wave after wave of attack thanks in large part to goalkeeper David Sierra.

The man between the posts was busy early and often, which was somewhat expected with his squad on a 271-minute scoreless streak and missing Alhassane Keita (suspension, red card), Marcos Flores (injured, hamstring) and Pascal Millien (on national team duty with Haiti).

Combined, those three accounted for nine of the team’s 15 goals and three of nine assists entering Saturday, and defender Matt Bahner’s absence (knee injury) didn’t bode well for the back line.

On top of that, they faced a Cosmos squad that hadn’t lost all year (5W-6D-0L).

The Armada FC tried to play their usual possession-oriented style, but any giveaway was met with a swift rush of Cosmos. The best chance of the early going came via Sebastián Guenzatti, who poked a slow roller through a crowd from the top of the box that Sierra tipped just wide of the post.

Sierra wasn’t able to stop the next one, a curling, right-footed free kick from Hunter Freeman, but the left post did. Five minutes later, it looked like Raúl would finish the job after he drew Sierra out of goal, but the Real Madrid legend chipped wide.

Sierra stoned the next opportunity in the 28th when Guenzatti took a sliding shot from a few yards out, and when he did the same to Lucky Mkosana in the 42nd, New York had its best chance to score via Raúl on the rebound. But once again, his aim was just off, and the shot clanged off the right post.

The Armada FC showed a few flashes of sharp combination play but never got close to the goal in the first half, instead being reduced to wild shots from outside the box.

That began to change in the second, as the match morphed into a fast-paced, back-and-forth affair.

The breakthrough came when Lucas Scaglia sent in a pass for Barrett just in front of goal. The Jamaican striker won the header between a defender and 'keeper Jimmy Maurer, popping the ball over all three toward the open net, where Krizanovic was waiting.

The former standout at Englewood High School, Jacksonville University, and Jacksonville United FC calmly put it away, providing the fuel for his club’s most impressive win of the year.

From there, Sierra stuffed Raúl and Walter Restrepo from close range as the Cosmos tried to pull back level. He made another huge save in the 88th from Restrepo’s long-range effort, then held on as Mads Stokkelien tried to run through him in pursuit of a loose ball.

With the win, the Armada FC picked up their first points of the Fall Season (1-0-3) and improved their home record to 4-1-1. They’ll have a chance to add to it on July 31, when they host Minnesota United.


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