Red Bulls manager Mike Petke downplayed the importance and significance of the Fourth Round US Open Cup match-up against the New York Cosmos since the potential meeting was announced. Contrarily, the entire Cosmos organization approached the game as the biggest game to date, since the team re-joined the NASL last fall. A quick glance at the stat sheet and it’s easy to see which approach was more effective.
The Cosmos out-shot the Red Bulls 21-3 on route to a dominant 3-0 win in front of an energized crowd of 9,364 at Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University. The Cosmos jumped out to an early lead of what head coach Giovanni Savarese described as a clinical finish by Mads Stokkelien in the 8th minute.
The teams would share possession for the remainder of the first half, but the Cosmos would have the better of the chances putting shots wide and even one off the crossbar. An early yellow card in the 22nd minute on Ibrahim Sekagaya was the clearest sign of the Red Bull frustration. The teams would go into halftime with Cosmos leading 1-0.
Mads Stokkelien scored two goals for the New York Cosmos in their 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. Photo: New York Cosmos
In the end, the Cosmos’ energy and tenacity would prove to be too much for the Red Bulls. The Cosmos would add two goals in the 73rd (Stokkelien) and 78th (Noselli) minutes to cap a dominating performance. The strong midfield play of Danny Szetela and Joseph Nane exemplified the Cosmos game plan of playing hard, strong and fast. The shutout was the first for the Cosmos and goalkeeper Jimmy Mauer in US Open Cup.
The frustration of the Red Bulls came to a boil in the 87th minute when defender Chris Duvall came in hard and late on Cosmos Sebastian Guenzatti. Duvall was shown a straight red card for the challenge. It would take Head Referee Kevin Terry and his team a few minutes to settle down both teams before play could resume.
After the game the Cosmos’ Savarese described the dominant performance as the best complete game that the team has played to date. He added, “We take the US Open Cup very seriously and we feel that we are contenders. We know that we will face a lot of challenges along the way and tonight was one of those challenges.”
The Cosmos now await the winner of the Fourth Round game between the Harrisburg City Islanders (USL PRO) and the Philadelphia Union (MLS).
Michael Anderer writes for Soccer Long Island Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @SoccerLImag.
HIGHLIGHTS: NEW YORK COSMOS 3, NEW YORK RED BULLS 0
FULL MATCH REPLAY: NY COSMOS 3:0 NY RED BULLS