May 28, 2014
ONTO THE NEXT ONE
With win over Italians, the Cosmos advance to Open Cup 4th round, where the Bulls await
By Matthew Levine
JAMAICA, Queens -- The Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup draw provided the potential to see the match-up everyone wanted. It was up to the New York Cosmos to deliver.
They did just that with a victory over the Brooklyn Italians in the third-round match in the Cosmos' first Open Cup match. Two first-half goals were enough to lift the Cosmos to a 2-0 win and into a mouth-watering fixture against the Red Bulls in the next round on June 14.
“I think it’s exciting, it’s going to be a good thing. It’s two organizations that are professionals and I think it’s going to be a great match,” said head coach Giovanni Savarese about the next round match. “We’re excited about it and I think New York needs this type of matches.”
Defender Jimmy Ockford, making his Cosmos debut, rekindled the scoring touch he had during the club’s pre-season tour of Dubai. Ayoze sent in a cross in the 16th minute and Ockford rose above the defense to head home to give the Cosmos the lead.
“It feels great," Ockford said. "I’ve been waiting for my opportunity to get in. I just try to make myself a presence in the box any chance I get and it worked out this game.”
Hagop Chirishian then doubled the Cosmos' advantage in the 30th minute. Goalkeeper Sheldon Parkinson saved Alessandro Noselli’s initial effort, but Chirishian pounced on the rebound and his low shot found the empty net.
The Cosmos were able to boss the opening half with possession and chance creation. It led to several good goal-scoring opportunities.
Chirishian came close in the 23rd minute from the top of the box. The shot went just on the wrong side of the post.
Noselli’s header was headed for goal, but defender Kirk Scarlett had a timely intervention, clearing the ball off the line in the 44th minute. The Cosmos came close again a minute later. Dane Murphy fired from the top of the box. Parkinson spilled the effort, but was able to recover to clean up the danger.
The Italians nearly turned a comfortable first half for the Cosmos into a nightmare in the second just after the restart. Ricardo Milano’s header crashed off the cross bar and out of play.
From then on the intensity of the match ramped up. Salvatore Barone received a yellow in the 52nd minute and was awarded a second yellow a minute later to get his marching orders.
After the Italians were reduced to 10 men, the Cosmos began an onslaught. Chirishian fired just wide in the 56th minute. Noselli then narrowly missed in the 62nd wide of the post in a move similar to Chirishian’s.
Dimitrov had a chance from close-range three minutes later, but Parkinson got down quickly and make the save.
Forward Hans Denissen then subbed on in the 75th minute to make his Cosmos debut. He had been out with a knee injury dating back to last year with the San Antonio Scorpions.
“It felt good,” he said. “It’s different in a game than during a practice, but you have to get used to the game and I felt right away very good.”
Yannick Diese, who picked up a yellow card in the 39th minute, and then accrued a second yellow in the 82nd minute to reduce the Italians to nine men for the remaining eight minutes.
“You have to expect it’s going to get that way sometimes. They tried to get back in the game, they tried to fight to get something out of it,” Savarese said.
“The two red cards I think it were a little more naïve from their standpoint then just going into players.”
Noselli had one final chance in the 89th minute, but again Parkinson was able to make a save.
“It was a difficult game. We were able to have a couple of players that had a good night. [Danny} Szelela had a very good game. Hagop that hasn’t played much had a great game and some other players as well. I think that was the difference tonight and we’re happy with the result tonight.”