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Cosmos’ bounce back with a 3-0 win over Puerto Rico F.C.

Cosmos’ inaugural win over Puerto Rico F.C. sets NASL record

The Cosmos’ came back from three away matches with a dominant performance at home, beating Puerto Rico F.C. 3-0. With the win, the Cosmos’ set a NASL record of ten straight home games without a loss or draw.

The Cosmos’ lined up in an unorthodox way, playing Hunter Freeman, typically a fullback, as a center-back while choosing to rest Carlos Mendes and Jimmy Ockford. Jimmy Mulligan was given the nod to start at right-back.

Puerto Rico F.C.’s defense had a physical advantage over the Cosmos’ forwards and wingers in height and strength, forcing the Cosmos’ offense to adapt. Cosmos’ manager, Giovanni Savarese, stated in the post-match interview, “instead of throwing athleticism and height (at Puerto Rico F.C.), we threw soccer”. Gio fielded a team that was "good with the ball… and going to be fast to open spaces”. A great example of this was Lucky Mkosona, who used his speed and skill to play a part in all three of the Cosmos’ goals.

The Cosmos’ started off the match quickly by forcing Puerto Rico to score an own goal in the 16th minute. Lucky Mkosona sped by his man after receiving a great outlet pass from Ruben Bover on the left side of the pitch. Lucky sent in a beautiful cross that would have reached Cosmos’ forward Yasmani Duk had Puerto Rico F.C. defender, Cristiano Dias, not stuck out his foot and hit it past his own goalkeeper, David Meves.

Cosmos’ goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer had a relaxed match as Puerto Rico F.C. had only a few chances, with most of them coming in the first half. The best opportunities for Puerto Rico F.C. was a header that bounced just over the crossbar off a corner, and a header that flew wide right from a surprisingly open Héctor Ramos.

The Cosmos’ second goal came in the 84th minute off a header from Juan Arango. Lucky Mkosona set up the goal by beating his defender and launching an accurate cross from the right into the center of the box.

Lucky Mkosona scored the third and final goal of the match in the 94th minute. Juan Arango played a killer diagonal through ball just before the halfway line to Lucky, who had blown past the lagging center-backs. Lucky received the ball just before the eighteen yard box and quickly cut past the onrushing opposing goalkeeper, leaving an open goal for an easy tap in. Lucky received the Man of the Match award for his stellar performance.

After having a rough month in July, which included four away matches, the Cosmos’ are back at home for the next two games.