The New York Cosmos defeated the Brooklyn Italians 2-0 in their US Open Cup debut. Photo: New York Cosmos014
Reigning NASL Champions, the New York Cosmos entered the Third Round of the US Open Cup with a win against NPSL’s Brooklyn Italians. Brooklyn struggled early on with their composure. Head coach Lucio Russo told reporters after the game that he hoped his team could keep the score level for the first 30 minutes. He knew that the longer it took the NASL squad to score, the more nervous they would become.
Unfortunately,by the time the clock hit thirty, Russo’s squad was already down 2-0. The Cosmos scored their first goal off a short corner play in the 16th minute. Spanish defender Ayoze would end up with the ball just outside the Italian box, sending in a cross that was put away by centerback Jimmy Ockford. While continuing to dominate possession, the Cosmos would add another goal at the 30 minute mark. Hagop Chirishian took a rebound off Brooklyn goalkeeper Parkinson, pushing the ball to the back of the net.
The Cosmos tallied 16 shots in the first half compared to Brooklyn’s three, but the Cosmos also bettered the Brooklyn squad in another statistic that they would not want the lead in: fouls. The Cosmos were called for nine fouls while Brooklyn only five. Both teams would go into halftime which one player each being shown a yellow card: Yvener Diese (Brooklyn) and Hagop Chirishian (NY Cosmos).
Brooklyn would make one change to start the second half with forward Juan Aguiar replacing midfielder Diego Zuniga in an obvious attempt to change the game quickly. The game would change very quickly, but the way the Italians hoped. Italians midfielder Salvatore Barone picked up a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on the Cosmos’ Dane Murphy in the 22nd minute. Head referee Andres Pfefferkorn had just put his cards away and blew the whistle to restart play when Barone took down another Cosmos player drawing his second yellow in less than a minute’s time. Brooklyn would play down a man for the next half an hour.
The Cosmos bombarded the Italians with quick lateral passes and crosses but they could not break through the tough defense solidified by Kirk Scarlett and Tim Parker. Parker, a former St John’s defender, looked right at home on the Belson turf, but it would be Scarlett with the defensive play of the match clearing a ball off the goal line that had made its way past Parkinson.
Not even the addition of substitute Hans Denissen could help the Cosmos put a little more breathing room between them and the nine-man Brooklyn squad. The final whistle would propel the Cosmos onto the Fourth Round which will include another NY Derby match-up. The Cosmos will host MLS’s New York Red Bulls at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, NY, on June 14. When asked about the upcoming game against the Red Bulls, Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said that he thinks it will great for the sport of soccer. He added that the Cosmos are excited about and that it will be a good thing for New York.
Tonight’s game marked the first ever appearance for the famed New York Cosmos franchise in US Open Cup history . The Brooklyn Italians are no strangers to the tournament winning the Lamar Hunt trophy in 1979 and 1991.