Friday Night Fútbol: Cosmos Defeat Puerto Rico FC • Latino Sports

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Friday Night Fútbol: Cosmos Defeat Puerto Rico FC

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NEW YORK  – On Friday night, the New York Cosmos emerged victorious, defeating Puerto Rico FC 4-2 at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

“They came here to battle us,” said Head Coach and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese. “In the second half we came back, and we were able to regain control of the game.”

The first 10 minutes set the tone for the game with multiple strong tackles by both teams. The Cosmos were resilient in the early going, with goalkeeper, Jimmy Maurer, punching out an attempt from PRFC’s Jairo Puerto in the 12th minute.

New York opened the scoring a minute later when a free kick by Ayoze flew past the opposition’s wall and into the net. However, Puerto Rico FC did not stay behind for long, and in the 17th minute, Puerto himself gave PRFC the equalizer from close range.

The 24th minute brought some frustration for the Cosmos, as a Puerto cross from the left side of the box found Conor Doyle, whose one-touch finish made the score 1-2. The Cosmos looked for an instant response, and in the 33rd minute New York’s Walter Restrepo gave PRFC keeper, Austin Pack a fright, forcing him out of the net to secure the ball in the box. Herrera had the last chance in the first half, testing Pack with a chip from distance.

New York started strong in the second half. Pack came out his box to head away a dangerous through ball looking for Herrera. Four minutes later, Ayoze forced the PRFC shot-stopper into a fingertip save from a stinging volley.

As the Cosmos increased their presence in the final third, emotions got the best of the visitors’ Assistant Coach, Jack Stefanowski, who was ejected from the technical area in the 57th minute. In a rare foray forward from Puerto Rico FC, Maurer caught a shot from Jordi Quintillà in the 66th minute, showing good hands to hold the ball the first time of asking.

Fortune favored the hosts in the 69th minute, as Cosmos midfielder, Emmanuel Ledesma, changed the course of the game, scoring a screamer of an equalizer, a beautifully struck volley with his left foot. Restrepo added to New York’s tally five minutes later, helping his team retake the lead, hammering home Herrera’s cross to complete the reversal. Herrera came close to adding another goal in the 79th minute, hitting a shot just wide of the target.

The visitors soon had more problems to deal with, after Rudy Dawson’s reckless challenge on Ledesma left PRFC with 10 men. The Cosmos capitalized on their advantage, creating another chance in the 83rd minute, with Pack punching clear a dangerous opportunity.

New York’s work wasn’t done, however. Maurer stayed alert and came up with a vital save, getting a strong hand to push away a close-range effort from Kyle Culbertson in the 88th minute. Forward, Pablo Vranjicán, came off the bench in the final minutes of the game and made an instant impact.

The Argentine scored in the 4th minute of stoppage time to deal a decisive blow and close out the night with 4-2 on the scoreboard, scoring in his first NASL match for the club.

Emmanuel Ledesma was awarded Emirates Man of the Match Honors, as the Cosmos extended their unbeaten streak against PRFC to five games.

Savarese also spoke highly of the Emirates Man of the Match, Ledesma. “He brought quality and scored a tremendous goal, and his spirit brought the whole team up,” he added.

The Cosmos are on the road against Miami FC on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 pm. The team returns to MCU Park to face Indy Eleven on Tuesday, July 4 at 7:30 pm.

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