MATCH REPORT: Javi Márquez Leads Cosmos to 1-0 Win Over PRFC

Giovanni Savarese earns 60th NASL win as Cosmos rebound to win
Published Oct 2, 2017
NEW YORK (October 1, 2017) - The New York Cosmos earned three crucial points with a 1-0 win over Puerto Rico FC on Sunday night at MCU Park.

“The guys had a very solid performance today, I thought the second half was even better,” Cosmos Head Coach and Sporting Director Giovanni Savarese said. “At the end, we found the goal in the opportunities that we created and at the right moment for us to go up 1-0.”

A scoreless first half saw chances on both ends, with a wild sequence minutes before the break keeping the game goalless. In the 43rd minute, Carlos Mendes was left alone in the box and got his head on a corner kick, but Puerto Rico FC goalkeeper, Trevor Spangenberg, dove to get his hand on the ball and make the save. 

On the other side of the field, Puerto Rico’s Giuseppe Gentile made a steal and rolled a shot toward the vacant net after beating Jimmy Maurer, but Cosmos defender, Jimmy Mulligan, hustled back to make the save in what prove to be the final chance for either side before the halftime whistle.

The first half saw the visitors control the ball just over 51 percent of the time, while the Cosmos sent three shots toward goal, but nothing crossed the line. 

Early in the second half, the Cosmos nearly broke the tie as Andres Flores’ shot went through Spangenberg’s gloves. The rebound was headed back toward goal by Eric Calvillo, but Puerto Rico’s keeper lunged to slap the ball off the line and off the inside of the post before the defense cleared to end the threat.

In the 73rd minute, the Cosmos broke through on an efficient passing play. Lucky Mkosana started by making a steal and passing to Eric Calvillo. The ball then found Flores, who found Javi Márquez open inside the box. The Spaniard finished the play by blasting a low strike past Spangenberg to put the Cosmos ahead 1-0, which would eventually be the final score.  

“He is a quality player,” Savarese said of Márquez. “This is what we expect from him, and he has done fantastic. Not only on the goal but by making the right decisions with the ball and being a leader on the field.”

Following the goal, center referee, Henrik Karlsson, got busy as Ayoze, Dejan Jaković, and Maurer were all given yellow cards after the 80th minute. In stoppage time, Puerto Rico’s, Walter Ramirez, was shown a red card, ending his night.

The visitors nearly equalized in the 90th minute as Ramon Soria’s header from the center of the box was stopped by Maurer. The Cosmos goalkeeper made two saves to earn his fifth clean sheet of the season.

With the win, the Cosmos moved into the fourth and final playoff position in the NASL Combined Standings with 36 points.

“It gives you the possibility to continue to work the right way and believe in what we’re doing,” Savarese said of the win. “It was very important for us to get the three points.”

With his goal, Marquez earned his third Emirates Man of the Match honors this year, as the Cosmos took all three points from Puerto Rico FC.

The win was Savarese’s 60th NASL regular season win, which ranks him second in the NASL’s Modern Era.

For their next match, the Cosmos travel to Indianapolis to battle Indy Eleven in a rematch of last season’s Championship Final. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm. The Cosmos return to MCU Park for their home finale vs. FC Edmonton on Saturday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, click here.