The New York Cosmos’s away struggles continue as they drop a two goal lead to draw with the Rowdies, 2-2. Luck appeared to be on the Cosmos’s side for much of this match, as many of the fans (and the Rowdie’s commentary team) felt calls were going the visiting team’s way. Cosmos Captain Carlos Mendes was it hot water early in the match after two fouls in the first ten minutes, but only received a warning and no card. In the 13th minute,Joe Cole appeared to be through on goal, but was ever-so-slightly offside.
The Rowdies gave the Cosmos’s high defensive line some difficulty in the first half, but keeper Brian Holt was left untested for the most part. At halftime, the Rowdies coaches and players were visibly frustrated by the ref’s performance, especially after an ignored penalty shout in the 42nd minute.
In the second half, things got testy. Juan Arango opened the scoring by curling a beautiful free kick around the Rowdies wall. Tensions reached a fever pitch, however, when a Joe Cole goal was disallowed after an apparent handball. Cole sprinted towards the assistant referee to voice his frustration and the home crowd erupted in obscenities picked up by the TV cameras.
The Cosmos doubled their lead after Yasmani Duk put the ball through Matt Pickens legs after controlling a well-placed Lucky Mkosana cross. Duk, as well as David Diosa appeared to come out of the game hurt later on, replaced by Ruben Bover and Jairo Arietta respectively. Brian Holt looked shaky towards the tail end of the match, especially when a miscontrol from him almost lead to a Rowdies chance in the 72nd minute. The Cosmos’s good fortunes ran out in the 84th minute when a deflected clearance hit Ayoze and rolled into the net. Things went from bad to worse in extra time, when substitute Jimmy Ockford brought down Cosmos-killer Tom Heinemann in the box for a penalty, and Joe Cole bested Holt with a stutter step to score the equalizer.
Neither team will be satisfied with the draw, as both felt they deserved the win. This result sees the Cosmos dropping to second in both the Fall Season and Combined standings, as Indy Eleven has passed them on goal difference. Both teams are next in action against expansion clubs this Wednesday, as the Rowdies travel to Rayo OKC and the Cosmos return home to play Puerto Rico FC.