Cosmos Net Two Late Goals to Draw in Carolina

New York comes from two goals down to draw against the RailHawks and remain undefeated.
Published May 18, 2015

By Cosmos News Service

CARY, N.C. (May 16, 2015) – Down two goals entering stoppage time, the New York Cosmos (4-3-0) upped the tempo and pressure in the attacking third and scored two late goals to earn a draw against the Carolina RailHawks (1-4-2) in Cary, N.C. at WakeMed Soccer Park on Saturday.

With the draw, the Cosmos continued their unbeaten streak with a thrilling display of resiliency in the dying moments of the match.

“I thought that was a good game for the fans to watch,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said after the match. “It was a battle. Nothing different than every time we come down here. Carolina always gives us a very good game, a difficult game. But today, our guys fought until the end and were able to find the goals that we needed to at least bring a point back home.”

In the 91st minute a ball was sent in to the box by Cosmos midfielder Walter Restrepo and bounced between several players before being knocked in by RailHawks defender Futty Danso for an own goal, cutting the RailHawks lead to 2-1.

“At the end, we could’ve even done a little bit more,” Savarese said of his team’s performance. “But I’m happy with the guys, with their effort. To be able to tie it was great, but we struggled in the first half in some areas. Credit to Carolina; they just closed a lot of the spaces and didn’t allow us to have good form.”

The Cosmos equalized in the 97th minute with a stunning Andrés Flores goal from the top of the box that beat RailHawks goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap.

“When I saw the ball coming, I just wanted to make sure I hit it right and could score a goal,” Flores said.

Flores entered the match for Danny Szetela in the 62nd minute and made a big impact on the field in the second half as the Cosmos mounted their comeback.

“It’s always hard,” Flores explained about playing Carolina and overcoming the deficit. “They always give us good games on their field. I think we just tried to do our best and we were able to score those two goals.”

Savarese also touched on the mental and physical strength his team displayed.

“I think, mentally, we’re very healthy,” he said. “Physically, I think we’re very strong. I think we’re deeper with players who can come into the game.”

RailHawks midfielder Tiyi Shipalane, who was involved in both goals for Carolina, showed pace and creativity on the wing and proved to be troublesome for the Cosmos. His goal in the 76th minute seemed to be the deciding goal as he shook loose from Restrepo and Cosmos defender Ayoze to create enough space for a left-footed shot. His curled shot from the right edge of the box beat sprawling Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.

While the RailHawks only had one real chance in the first half against the Cosmos, they certainly made it count as it gave them a 1-0 lead heading into halftime.

Shipalane got past Ayoze and brought the ball to the end line. He cut the ball back up the box and found teammate Neil Hlavaty. Hlavaty’s shot was slightly deflected by Maurer, but it was not enough to keep the ball out of the net.

Following the goal, the RailHawks were content to sit behind the ball for the remainder of the half as the Cosmos began to look for an equalizer.

Cosmos winger Leo Fernandes almost found it in the 12th minute as a cross from defender Hunter Gorskie landed at his feet. Fernandes’ hard shot was parried away by Gilstrap with a diving save.

Cosmos midfielder Marcos Senna tweaked a hamstring in the first half and was subbed off early for Adam Moffat, but Savarese mentioned that his substitution was “only precautionary.”

The Cosmos will face the San Antonio Scorpions on May 23 at home. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET.