The New York Cosmos

Villarreal Takes Senna Tribute Match 3-0


The New York Cosmos lost their first game in nearly three months on Wednesday, Nov. 13, as Villarreal CF took the Marcos Senna tribute match 3-0 at El Madrigal Stadium in Villarreal.

Despite the result, the match was a win-win situation for Marcos Senna, who split the game with a half for each side.

Senna, who spent the previous 11 seasons at Villarreal, is known as the club's "Eternal Captain." He is the club's all-time leader in appearances, as he made 363 in all competitions before joining the Cosmos this past June.

The Cosmos' season leader in goals started the first half for his former club and helped set up Villarreal's first goal.

In the 11th minute, Senna stole a pass at midfield and passed the ball off to Moisés Gómez. On a through ball, Gómez found Jeremy Perbet in the middle of the field, who rifled a shot from the top of the 18-yard box. The ball was tipped by Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Reynish over his own head and into the back of the net.

Diomar Díaz had the Cosmos' only two shots in the half, the first of which missed low, wide of the right post, from around the top of the 18-yard box. The second was turned away by the Villarreal keeper after Paulo Mendes broke through the defense to the left side, got to the goal line and turned it around to Díaz at the penalty mark.

In honor of No. 19, at the 19th minute, the crowd at El Madrigal broke out in a full minute of applause.

Senna returned to the Cosmos in the second half and made an immediate impact for the 2013 Soccer Bowl champions. In the 53rd minute, a goal by Alessandro Noselli following a through ball from Senna was ruled out by a close offside call.

No. 19 had a chance to even the match in the 65th minute after Hagop Chirishian was pulled down just outside the 18, but Senna's free kick sailed over the goal.

The evening's honoree was pulled from the game in the 70th minute by his two sons and received yet another standing ovation from the crowd.

Seconds after Senna reached the sideline, former Arsenal and France star Robert Pires put a free kick on goal for Villarreal, but the shot was pushed aside on a diving save from keeper Jimmy Maurer, who subbed in at the half.

Villarreal doubled its lead in the 83rd minute when Juanto snuck behind the defense, settled a ball from Hernán Pérez and finished past a helpless Maurer. The last goal came in the 87th minute when Ikechukwu Uche redirected a cross in the 6-yard box into the corner of the net.