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Cosmos draw in Minnesota, clinch postseason berth

Mike Zarrilli

It wasn't necessarily the way the New York Cosmos wanted to lock up a postseason berth, but the job is now done. With two NASL fall season matches to go, the Cosmos have now clinched their place in the playoffs, while their opponent from Saturday has now clinched the top seed for the two-round championship fight.

The boys in green traveled to Minnesota on Saturday, and played to a 0-0 draw which wound up being good enough to get the job done. Gio Savarese's side can perhaps feel a bit fortunate with the result, as a questionable refereeing decision in the latter portion of the first half probably prevented Minnesota from scoring, and a missed penalty with just minutes remaining allowed the Cosmos to escape with a draw.

The first half was a pretty even affair, thought the better chances certainly fell to United. On 35 minutes the Cosmos caught a break though, when the referee inexplicably blew play dead for a Danny Szetela foul with Miguel Ibarra running free on the Cosmos goal. The escape allowed the score to remain at 0-0, and it looked as if it would end that way until the 85th minute.

Then, disaster appeared to have struck, and Minnesota were presented with a golden opportunity to take all three points from New York. Carlos Mendes committed a foul in the box, and saw red for his actions. Fortunately for Jimmy Maurer, Christian Ramirez blasted high and wide to keep the game scoreless. At that point, the Cosmos simply sat back, and happily took the point that came along with the 0-0 final score.

With just two matches to go, the only thing left to be determined for New York is seeding for the playoffs. The top spot is already out of play, but depending on how results go during the final two games, the Cosmos could end up anywhere from the second seed to fourth. Winning out and potentially playing at home would be awfully nice, wouldn't it?