The New York Cosmos extended their preseason unbeaten streak to three matches, as they defeated the Dominican National Team 5-1 at Estadio Olimpico Félix Sanchez Sunday evening.
“We are content with the team’s performance during the Dominican Republic tour,” said Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director, Giovanni Savarese. “There is still a lot of work to do and we will now return to New York to continue our preparation for the 2017 NASL Season.”
The Cosmos had more of the possession in the first half. Early in the game, Walter Restrepo had time and space to unleash a shot from distance, which ended up going over the crossbar. It would, however, dictate the offensive pace of the team going forward.
Ryan Richter tried to combine efforts with Eugene Starikov several times to break through. Richter was eventually able to chip a good ball to Starikov, who was brought down inside the box to earn a penalty kick for the visitors. Javi Márquez calmly resolved from the PK spot to score the first goal of the evening.
A few minutes later, Emmanuel Ledesma doubled the difference for the Cosmos as he received a pass from Marco Marchionni inside the box and chipped the ball past Dominican goalkeeper, Wellington Agramonte. The home team cut the difference in half when Jonathan Fanas, who happened to be in the right place at the right time, picked up a lost pass from the Cosmos defensive line. The striker then pass the ball inside of the box to Luis Espinal, as Cosmos keeper, Brian Holt, was coming out, to score the home team’s lone goal right before the end of the first half.
For the second half, Irvin Herrera replaced Starikov and did not waste any time doing what he does best. He scored his first goal of the evening and third for the Cosmos after finishing a Cosmos' counterattack with authority. Then, the Salvadoran international scored New York’s fourth goal in similar fashion, after Amauri let a ball through his own legs to make some room for Herrera. Once again, he would not miss.
Goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck made his preseason debut and put a lock on his goal throughout the second half. The Dominican National Team tried to find another goal with long and short-distance shots, but the Valparaiso University product handled himself with calm and ease to control the home team's attempts. Andrea Mancini scored the fifth and final goal of the evening by chipping the ball beautifully over goalkeeper, Luis Lluberes, right before the end of regulation.
When the final whistle sounded, the Cosmos had come away with a convincing 5-1 win and obtained the team’s third consecutive preseason win.
New York will kick off the 2017 NASL Season March 25, when they travel to Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium to take on Puerto Rico FC. The Cosmos' 2017 home opener will take place at MCU Park in Brooklyn on Saturday, April 1 at 7:00 pm against Miami FC. Season tickets are on-sale now.