The Cosmos’ salvaged three points on Saturday by defeating rivals, Tampa Bay Rowdies, 3-2 in a thrilling match at home.
The Rowdies opened the scoring with back-to-back goals from close range by former England international, Joe Cole, and newly signed winger PC in the 11th and 16th minutes, respectively.
Cosmos’ coach Giovanni Savarese had this to say about the early deficit, “This is a group that is capable of doing amazing things. Sometimes, we just get a little bit away from where we need to be and… in the first few minutes… we did not have the intensity that we needed. They came in with everything and then all of a sudden early in the first half… we were already 2-0 down. For me, the most important thing was the reaction. The reaction right away that we understood that now we had to fight to be able to get back into the game.”.
In this match, the roles were reversed in comparison to the first meeting between the teams, in which the Rowdies were the one’s playing catch up after being down by two goals. The Rowdies were able to draw the match 2-2.
Despite the challenge placed before them, the Cosmos’ were able to equalize after Adam Moffat notched a pair of penalties in the 39th and 64th minutes.
The two goals increased Moffat’s scoring record to a total of seven for the season. When Moffat was asked about his new found hot streak in a previous game he stated, “last year at the end of the season I spoke with the coaches and felt that I could contribute more goals… I want to keep going, I haven’t played too many games this year either, basically from an injury last year. It’s been tough to get a good rhythm so now that I can try to get out there every week I want to keep contributing, not only goals, but defensively as well.”.
The atmosphere between the teams was tense, with eleven cards between them. Both Rowdies’ defender Darnell King and Cosmos’ midfielder Adam Moffat headed to the locker rooms early with straight reds in the 67th minute. The teams ended with ten on the field.
The match looked as if it was heading for another 2-2 draw when, in the 93rd minute, Cosmos’ midfielder Andres Flores came streaking down the right side of the box with the ball at his feet after receiving a great pass from Sebastian Guenzatti. Looking up, he found late substitute David Diosa bolting to the front post - anticipating a cross. Flores sent the ball in on the ground and found the feet of Diosa, who slotted it into the to the net to score the Cosmos’ third goal of the game, completing their comeback over the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
The theatrics of the game were not over. With extra time winding down, the Rowdies launched a final attack. Rowdies’ substitute MIchael Nanchoff cut in from the right hand side of the box and curled a shot to the left post, only to be cleared off the goal line by Cosmos’ defender Jimmy Mulligan.
With the result, the Cosmos move into second place in the NASL fall season and sit third in the combined standings. The Cosmos’ play Puerto Rico F.C. in Puerto Rico before returning home on August 27th to play the Carolina Railhawks.