PLAYER OF THE WEEK | Indy Eleven Forward Eamon Zayed

The Irishman's two goals lifted the Boys in Blue to a comeback victory
NASL Staff | Apr 18, 2016

With just six minutes left on the clock on Saturday night, Indy Eleven looked to be down and out against the visiting New York Cosmos, but forward Eamon Zayed stepped in and changed that very quickly. The veteran forward struck twice in the dying moments of the match to give Indy a 2-1 win and earn himself NASL Player of the Week honors.

The Cosmos forged ahead midway through the second half thanks to a penalty kick from midfielder Niko Kranjčar, but Zayed converted a spot kick of his own in the final minute of regular time to level the score. Four minutes later, deep into stoppage time, a low shot from Indy forward Dylan Mares was parried well by Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck, but Zayed was there to clean up the rebound and send the 9,067 fans at Carroll Stadium into a frenzy.

“To get this recognition after only three games in the league is something I’m delighted about, but while my name may be attached to this honor, it really should be the whole team’s name because it was a great team performance - one that stemmed from a ‘never say die’ attitude,” Zayed said. “To fight back for a second week in a row in front of our home crowd - this time against the champions and possibly the best team in the league - was fantastic, and it took all of us to get it done.”

The victory was the first by either Indy or New York in the head-to-head series, as the two sides played to six consecutive draws to open up their NASL matchup history. Remarkably, the series seemed destined for a seventh draw until Zayed’s second goal just a few seconds before the final whistle.

“We’ve kept faith in Eamon’s ability to score goals for us, and we were rewarded with a well-taken penalty and a fantastic ‘right place, right time’ moment on the tap-in to follow,” Indy coach Tim Hankinson said. “For him to climb up into the Brickyard Battalion after scoring the eventual winner and share that moment with the fans, that capped a great night both for Eamon and for the team.”

Zayed, 32, joined the Boys in Blue during the offseason after most recently playing for Sabah in the Malaysian Premier League. The Irish forward, who actually has been capped eight times internationally with Libya, was a prolific goalscorer in the League of Ireland. The Dublin native starred for the likes of Bray Wanderers, Drogheda United, Sporting Fingal, and Derry City, among others. He has also played professionally in England, Norway, and Iran.

On the heels of grabbing three points against New York, Zayed and Indy now head into their bye week before traveling to Oklahoma City in Week 5 of the Spring Season.

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