RECAP | Cosmos 1, Silverbacks 1

Both teams earned a hard-fought point in New York
New York Cosmos Staff | Oct 4, 2015

The New York Cosmos fell behind but rallied to equalize on an own goal, finishing with a 1-1 draw against the Atlanta Silverbacks in a Fall Season match at Shuart Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Cosmos moved into sole possession of third place in the Fall Season Standings and remain third in the Combined Standings, four behind first-place Ottawa.

"I think today we found space, moved the ball well, and we were able to create chances," Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. "We just need to be a little more aggressive. We need to get in at the near post and do a little more. We need to be able to predict things in the box to get those chances. But I thought overall, it was a very good performance."

The Silverbacks, who were outshot 15-3, went in front on their first shot of the game in the 38th minute. Junior Burgos played a free kick deep into the box where Michal Mravec leapt up and headed in off Jimmy Maurer’s hand from nine yards out.

“We know now teams are going to come and look for a set piece, while defending the entire match,” Savarese said. “But I thought today we were much better than we’ve been. We created chances. It was very positive today.”

Cosmos midfielder Andrés Flores added: “I think now they are realizing that’s the way to play against us because that’s how they’re getting results. But we have to keep improving what we have done during the year. We’ve played good games. They've just found the goals we haven’t.”

The Cosmos rallied to level in the 70th minute on an Atlanta own goal, as Ayoze’s deep and low corner deflected in off defender Simon Mensing. It came five minutes after another Ayoze corner went through a maze of players before Atlanta goalkeeper Steward Ceus got a piece.

Ayoze troubled Ceus with a stoppage-time free kick that the goalkeeper was able to punch away. Second-half substitute Gastón Cellerino pounced on the rebound and put a back heel over the crossbar.

The Cosmos attacked from the opening kickoff and nearly scored the game’s first goal in the second minute, but Ceus dove to his left to get a hand on a low Raúl shot from 14 yards out.

In the 15th minute, Leo Fernandes latched onto a Flores cross and stared at an open net after Ceus was out of position. But Fernandes put his header off the crossbar.

Five minutes later, Flores nearly caught Ceus leaning the wrong way, but the Haitian goalkeeper recovered in time to make a diving stop for one of his four first-half saves.

“Right now it’s tough, but there’s a lot of positives,” Cosmos forward Lucky Mkosana said. “Sometimes that’s just the game of football. We have to continue being positive and working hard. The goals are going to come.”

Raúl, who was replaced by Ruben Bover in the 53rd minute, left the match after rolling his right ankle.

“He’s hurting. When he steps and makes a movement, he feels pain there,” Savarese said of the Spanish legend. “That’s why he couldn’t continue in the game. We’ll have to analyze tomorrow exactly what he has, but it doesn’t seem to be something very serious.”

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