Cosmos Fall 1-0 to FAS in El Salvador

The New York Cosmos were defeated by C.D. FAS 1-0 in a friendly at Estadio Cuscatlán on March 14. Dustin Corea scored the lone goal of the match for FAS. (Photo via C.D. FAS)
Mar 14, 2015

SAN SALVADOR (March 14, 2015) - The New York Cosmos fell to Salvadorian side C.D. FAS 1-0 on Saturday during a preseason friendly in front of an estimated 30,000 spectators at the Estadio Cuscatlán in El Salvador.

“I think it was as difficult as we expected it to be,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said after the match. “It was a difficult environment because there were a lot of people cheering for the home team.”

Making a return to his home country, Cosmos midfielder Andrés Flores took the field wearing the captain’s armband for New York.

As the match kicked off, it was the Cosmos who nearly found the net first. Forward Raúl was on the end of a lofted header in the area, but his effort flew past the near post.

“The result isn’t what we wanted,” said Cosmos midfielder Adam Moffat. “I thought we started pretty solid. In the first minute we had an opportunity, but we didn’t get that goal.”

FAS had their first clear-cut chance in the 19th minute after earning a free kick from 30 yards out. However, the dipping effort sailed high over Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer and out of play.

In the 26th minute, the home side managed to strike first. A dangerous ball was sent across the 18-yard box and forward Dustin Corea made no mistake with the finish, giving FAS a 1-0 lead.

Just five minutes later, the Cosmos nearly found the equalizer through some brilliant link-up play between their two former Spanish internationals. Midfielder Marcos Senna found himself with time and space just outside the area and picked out the run of Raúl, but his glancing header was parried away by goalkeeper Luis Contreras to ensure that FAS would enter the locker rooms with their lead intact.

The Cosmos came close once again, this time just minutes after the break as Senna lined up a free kick in the 46th minute. His effort from 20 yards out nearly beat Contreras, but the FAS goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball just before the it crossed the goal line, and Raúl’s follow-up effort was smothered out for a corner kick.

“It’s frustrating when you go for it and don’t get it,” Moffat said. “We put ourselves in good spots. It’s just disappointing that we couldn’t get that goal.”

As a back-and-forth second half ticked on, the Cosmos received a lifeline in the 61st minute. New York midfielder Walter Restrepo made a bursting run down the wing, but was taken down by FAS midfielder Juan Carlos Moscoso as he charged in towards the net. The referee issued Moscoso his second yellow card of the match, giving the Cosmos an man advantage for the final half hour.

But FAS continue to press for a second goal. In 78th minute they nearly found one as a dangerous cross reached the head of Ángel Peña, but his powerful header did not manage to test Maurer in the Cosmos net.

In the 84th minute Restrepo once again found himself in the middle of the action, this time providing a tantalizing cross to the far post. Midfielder Danny Szetela attacked the service with a diving header, but his effort was saved off the line.

“I thought that we did some good things today,” said Savarese. “We created a lot of chances. We could have seen the score being different for the amount of chances that we created, but we also need to work in different aspects. All these games help us to keep growing.”

After suffering their first loss of the preseason, the Cosmos return to the U.S. for training in Florida prior to the start of their 2015 NASL season. New York will face the Fort Lauderdale Strikers at Lockhart Stadium in their season opener April 4.

“We’ll take some positives away from this,” Moffat concluded. “But we’re looking forward to getting the season started.”

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