Cosmos Fight For Point in Wild Affair

By: Lucky Ngamwajasat

Three Observations After the Cosmos’ 3-3 Draw vs. Indy Eleven:

Janusz Michallik and Ed Cohen break down how the Cosmos came back from a first half deficit to retrieve a point against Indy Eleven at MCU Park.

1. Questionable on Defense …

A roller-coaster of a match got off to a rocky start for the Cosmos, as their defending was punished by a Mexican National Team icon.

Even at the age of 38, Gerardo Torrado is a player you don’t want to leave unmarked with time to shoot.

Capped 146 times by Mexico, the Indy Eleven midfielder didn’t take long to stamp his authority on Saturday’s match. Off a set piece, the former Cruz Azul man was given time and space to launch a rocket of a shot past Jimmy Maurer in the 10th minute. The Cosmos’ goalkeeper had no chance of saving it and the visitors had the early lead.

His second goal of the evening came from a preventable situation. In midfield, Darrius Barnes lost control of the ball which led to an Indy counterattack. After working the ball around the edge of the penalty area, Torrado slammed another roaring shot past Maurer in the 14th minute.

“For the first 18, 19 minutes of the match, we weren’t connected,” Juan Guerra said during his post-match comments. “We were kind of lost in the game and I didn’t think we expected to concede a goal so early.”

After equalizing early on in the second half, Indy quickly took the lead back when Eamon Zayed took advantage of a Dejan Jakovic slip and fired a booming shot into the back of the net.

There’s no question the Cosmos are a force to be reckoned with as an attacking threat, but their defensive issues continue to be exposed.

“What we lacked [Saturday] was that composure defensively,” coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We didn’t deal with some of [Indy’s] offensive moments.

2. … But No Questioning Their Offense

While the Cosmos’ defensive play wasn’t up to par, their attacking play was top notch.

New York had 36 shots in the match, including an incredible 24 in the second half.

After a sleepy first 20 minutes, the Cosmos were jolted back into the match after scoring off a set-piece goal of their own. Jakovic halved the Indy Eleven lead after a well-worked set piece in the 29th minute.

The hosts started the second half with their foot on the accelerator and turned up the pressure in desperate search of the equalizer. The Cosmos’ pressure paid off after Pablo Vranjican was alert to follow up a rebound and bundle it home with his head in the 50th minute.

Even after Zayed had given Indy the lead again, the Cosmos were undeterred and were able to get back on level terms late in the game. Emmanuel Ledesma‘s corner kick in the 84th minute was powered home by a thumping Guerra header.

There’s no doubting the Cosmos as an attacking unit. They’ve yet to be held off the scoresheet in the early part of the Fall Season and continue to create chances no matter where they play, whether at MCU Park or away from Coney Island.

3. Denied a Deserved Three Points?

Were it not for the efforts of Jon Busch, the Cosmos would probably be celebrating a stirring comeback win.

The 41-year-old Indy Eleven goalkeeper came up with timely saves in the second half to stop New York from taking home all the spoils.

His 77th-minute denial of Andres Flores‘ gilt-edged opportunity was just one of many big saves the veteran keeper made.

“We know that he’s an experienced player and a good player,” Savarese said. “He comes up big in big moments for his team, not only with saves. He has that experience and that experience was important for his team.”