Cosmos vs. North Carolina End In Hard-Fought Draw • Latino Sports

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Cosmos vs. North Carolina End In Hard-Fought Draw

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NEW YORK  –  On Saturday night, the New York Cosmos and North Carolina FC split points in a 2-2 draw at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Cosmos broke a Modern Era club record, scoring in 10 consecutive road games.

“It was an exciting game for the fans to see,” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese. “We did some good things in the second half, but I think the tie is probably the right result for what we saw on the field.”

Neither team had a clear advantage at the top of the first half, though North Carolina began putting pressure on a sturdy Cosmos back line as the game went on. New York goalkeeper, Jimmy Maurer, had little to do until the 25th minute, when a Tiyi Shipalane right-footed shot from inside the box forced him to make a near post save.

The Cosmos’ first chance of the night came in the 33rd minute, when Pablo Vranjicán found plenty of space to go one on one with NCFC’s Brian Sylvestre, before being denied by the 24-year-old shot-stopper.

Both teams returned re-energized after a scoreless first 45. The hosts went ahead a minute into the second half after Andre Fortune’s give-and-go with Nazmi Albadawi resulted in a blast by the latter from inside the box. Steven Miller tried to double the hosts’ lead with a one-touch play in the 55th minute, only to be denied by Maurer.

It didn’t take long for the Cosmos to reverse the score. New York’s Ayoze chipped a great ball to Andrés Flores, who was on hand for a left-footed 59th minute equalizer inside the penalty area, tallying his second goal of the 2017 Regular Season.

The Cosmos took a 2-1 lead through the subbed-in, Eugene Starikov, whose determination finally payed off in the form of his first-ever Cosmos goal. Keeping up with Connor Tobin as he made his way into the box, Starikov saw his play right through to the end, stealing the ball from behind the North Carolina defender at the top of the box before driving a left-footed shot past Sylvestre in the 71st minute.

New York were sharper going forward, eager to ride the momentum to increase their lead. Javi Márquez drove a low shot towards goal in the 84th minute that narrowly missed the far post. Renan Gorne had the final say of the night, bringing back a point for North Carolina in the 90th minute after finding himself right at the goal line for a tap-in.

Ayoze was quick to try and regain the Cosmos’ lead, sending a low, driven free kick in the third minute of stoppage time, but Sylvestre was in the right place for the save, making the final score 2-2 and adding a point for both teams in the NASL standings.

The Cosmos took more than a point from their road trip, however. Starikov’s first goal for the club was followed by another milestone, as Danny Szetela came off the bench in the final minute of regulation time, joining the NASL Century Club in his 100th Regular-Season appearance.

Savarese thought the draw a fair result, while noting that the Cosmos have a lot more potential to show on the field.

“We deserved this point, no more than this. We travel to get wins, and we should have been better than what we showed today.”

The Cosmos return to MCU Park to take on Jacksonville Armada FC on Sunday, September 3 at 7:30 pm.

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