Cosmos Beat Jersey Express, Advance to Fourth Round of Open Cup

3-0 result sets up home fixture vs. New York City FC on June 17.
Published May 27, 2015

By Cosmos News Service

QUEENS, N.Y. (May 27, 2015) – A pair of first half goals from Leo Fernandes and Sebastián Guenzatti and a late converted penalty from Mads Stokkelien propelled the New York Cosmos past Jersey Express in the third round of the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday night at St. John’s University’s Belson Stadium.

“Our players took this game with the responsibility they needed to take it with,” Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said after the victory. “[Jersey Express] is a good team. For them this was the biggest game of the year.

“They came in extra motivated and tried to create difficulties for us. This was an important game and a good result.”

Fernandes gave the Cosmos a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute by bending his free kick from the top of the 18-yard box around a wall of Express defenders and into the left edge of the net, past diving goalkeeper Matthew Turner. Guenzatti set up the attempt; he chested down a ball from Marcos Senna in front of the area, turned toward goal and was fouled trying to create a shot.

Guenzatti would double New York’s lead five minutes before the half. This time Fernandes found him near the right corner of the penalty area. Guenzatti wove through a pair of Express defenders and fired a low shot through Turner to make it 2-0 in the 40th minute.

“Leo gave it to me, I faked a pass to [Hunter] Freeman and found an open hole,” Guenzatti explained. “I ran through the defense, shot and put it in.”

The Cosmos’ final goal came in the 81st minute via a converted penalty from Stokkelien. Fellow Cosmos forward Haji Wright, who made his first professional appearance when he was subbed on for Guenzatti in the 79th minute, raced past the Jersey back line and was taken down by defender Sylvain N’guessan while trying to latch on to a ball in the penalty area.

N’guessen was shown a red card and Stokkelien stepped up for the ensuing penalty. Turner guessed right but Stokkelien shot left, and his goal extended the lead to 3-0.

The handful of scoring chances Jersey had came in the second half. In the 70th minute midfielder Christopher Karcz swept from right-to-left across the top of the box, avoiding challenges from Freeman and Hunter Gorskie, then found substitute forward Carlos Victor Alvarenza Silva at the corner of the area. His blast ended up wide right of Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer’s net.

In second half stoppage time Express midfielder William DaSilva saw his free kick attempt from a dangerous area sail high.

Jersey Express came into the game having picked up their first two Open Cup wins in club history earlier in the month. The USL PDL side recorded a 3-0 victory over the New York Greek Americans on May 14 and followed it up with a 1-0 result against New York Red Bulls II on May 20.

The Cosmos will move on to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup, where Major League Soccer’s New York City FC awaits. That fixture will kick off on Wednesday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET, with the Cosmos hosting at Shuart Stadium.

“It’s going to be a derby,” Savarese said. “These sorts of matches are huge for U.S. Soccer and New York. We’ll be matching up against a very good team. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”

First the Cosmos will travel to Minnesota for an NASL meeting with Minnesota United FC on Saturday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET. After that the team will head to Cuba for a historic match against the Cuban National Team in Havana on June 2.