Starters: The Cosmos were put into a 4-2-3-1 formation. Jimmy Maurer got the call in net for this one. Ryan Richter starts at right back; he was the man to watch for in my preview. He was alongside Barnes and Mendes at centre back. Mulligan started at left back for the Originals. Szetela and Flores were slotted into the defensive midfield. The attackers included Restrepo, Márquez, Ayoze, and Herrera as the striker. Juan Guerra was serving his 2 match ban. Dejan Jakovic got banged up during his international duty with Canada, so he wasn’t available for this one.
1’- PRFC captain Yuma knocks down Flores as he was going for the ball in the midfield. Yuma injured Flores in the previous meeting, earning himself a red card.
8’ and 9’- Puerto Rico’s Rudy Dawson sends in a cross towards Jairo Puerto, but it gets cleared away by Richter. Barnes over-committed to a challenge sending in forward Giuseppe Gentile. Luckily, Gentile was denied by the offsides flag.
13’- Restrepo goes down from a challenge by Puerto Rico defender Soria Alonso. Alonso earns a yellow as a result. The free-kick was in scoring range and Ayoze converts it to give the Cosmos a 1-0 lead.
Ayoze with a brilliant free-kick gives Cosmos the lead ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/knVnCXbUCm— New York Cosmos (@NYCosmos) June 17, 2017
16’- Gentile gets passed Mulligan and sends in a low cross to Jairo Puerto who buries it. 1-1 tie.
23’- Big game for Jairo Puerto in this one. He beats Richter and sends in a low cross towards Conor Doyle. Darrius Barnes was caught out of position which lead to Doyle exposing the space and finishing the cross. 2-1 Puerto Rico
25’- Doyle grabs too much jersey in the midfield, earns a yellow card.
27’- Carlos Mendes passed the ball back to Maurer but it looked awkward in the process. It was later confirmed that it was the hamstring area that was bothering him. Ochieng was brought in as a result.
34’- Restrepo looks to send in Szetela, but he puts a little too much juice on the pass as it gets scooped up by the PRFC keeper.
38’- Gentile picks up a yellow for what I’m assuming to be frustration towards the referee.
42’- Puerto Rico’s Jordi Quintillà gives a late challenge to Javi Márquez, earns Puerto Rico’s fourth yellow card.
51’- Restrepo won the ball back which eventually sent in Irvin Herrera. PRFC keeper Austin Pack came out of the box to head it away from Herrera.
56’- Discipline was an issue all over for Puerto Rico, even with their sideline. Assistant coach Jack Stefanowski got ejected from the game. Words might have been said, but I’m not really sure what the ejection was for.
60’- Márquez gets the Cosmos first yellow card of the game.
69’- A cross from Ayoze lands to Ledesma who strikes an absolute beauty of a shot to the far corner. 2-2 tie.
Goal of the season? Ledesma with a GOLAZO!! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/3FWAV3uOOt— New York Cosmos (@NYCosmos) June 17, 2017
73’- Herrera gets the ball and squares it to Restrepo within the box. Restrepo beats out defender Walter Ramírez and gets a touch to send it home. 3-2 Cosmos back in front.
81’- Just like the previous meeting, PRFC finished the game with 10 men. Rudy Dawson looked as if he was going for the header, but he just goes through Ledesma. Dawson gets the red, and it might be game over for Puerto Rico.
90’ + 3’- Pablo Vranjicán strikes the ball into the bottom corner to seal the deal for the Cosmos. Nice start for the new signing.
Full Time: 4-2 Cosmos Win
New York gets their second win at home this season as they move into second place on the Spring table with 20 points. Big game tonight between Jacksonville and Miami.
- Discipline really buried Puerto Rico in this one. 5 yellow cards and 1 red card allowed the Cosmos to take this game over.
- Jairo Puerto had a solid game for PRFC.
- I have to give man of the match to Walter Restrepo. Even when the Cosmos looked like they were going to slip away, Restrepo was still looking to create chances. He was a force within the attacking midfield, and he bagged himself a nice goal too.
- I hate to pick on the defense, but they were all out of sort in this one. PRFC had more chances than New York and they should’ve converted most of them. It was mentioned during the game that communication might have been the problem, but it most cases guys were getting beat off the ball or they were way out of position. They have time to fix it before the next game, so let's hope Giovanni Savarese and his crew can sharpen things up.
- 3 points. We move up in the standings and as of right now, we trail Miami by just 4 points for the league lead.
The Cosmos next match will be a crucial away fixture against Miami FC. It will take place on the 24th of June at 7:30 p.m. ET.