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RECAP | Eddies stun Cosmos with dramatic four-goal second half

Two goals in 10 minutes from the Eddies, two red cards to the Cosmos and a NASL debut for goalkeeper Nathan Ingham highlighted what was a chaotic 4-2 win for FC Edmonton in Brooklyn.
Jamie Umbach (@JamieUmbach) | Jun 7, 2017

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Two goals from FC Edmonton and two red cards from the New York Cosmos in the span of 10 minutes highlighted what was a chaotic second half at MCU Park in Brooklyn, lifting the Eddies past the reigning North American Soccer League (NASL) champions 4-2 in stunning fashion on Wednesday, June 7.

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Trailing 1-0 at the break, the Eddies stormed back with two goals in three minutes from winger Sainey Nyassi and Tomi Ameobi before the Cosmos were reduced to nine men with red cards to Darrius Barnes and Juan Guerra. Striker Jake Keegan would add a goal off the bench in his home state of New York and Ameobi added a second before Ayoze scored from the spot on the second attempt deep in stoppage time for consolation.

"I think the most important thing was the discipline we showed,” FC Edmonton head coach Colin Miller said post-match. “Our players reacted so positively to everything and played well. We watched the first half of the Puerto Rico match, had a good training session and changed up the system as well and the players all responded very positively tonight. The pace we had with Nyassi and Fisk on the wings was terrific, and Ameobi had his best game of the season for us. I’m very proud of the players."

Miller made changes to the formation and personnel from Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Puerto Rico, starting with the switch to the 4-2-3-1 and giving goalkeeper Nathan Ingham his first NASL start. Defender/midfielder Allan Zebie returned to the fold following a hamstring injury and started in the midfield alongside Mauro Eustaquio, while Corea moved behind Ameobi in the centre of attack beside Fisk and Nyassi on the wings.

The Cosmos attacked Ingham and the FC Edmonton net early, with winger Ayoze’s shot from distance in the fourth minute just missing the top-right corner. The Keswick, Ont. product made his first save in the 21st minute, stopping midfielder Daniel Szetela’s hard shot from just outside the box.

The Eddies looked to turn the tide minutes later when Zebie played the give-and-go with Corea before crossing the ball low to Ameobi at the near post. The ensuing shot looked labeled for the low corner, but the Cosmos defender got a foot to it to clear the chance out for a corner.

Ameobi would once again have the chance for FC Edmonton to take the lead, but goalkeeper Brian Holt charged out of his box to clear Ameobi’s one-on-one chance in the 45th minute.

The Eddies would rue that chance seconds later as the Cosmos took the lead deep into first-half stoppage time. Right-back Ryan Richter sent the cross in to the head of Irvin Herrera, who directed his free header to the far post past Ingham to give the hosts the 1-0 lead heading into the break.

Midway through the second half down a goal, the Eddies flipped the match on its head in the span of ten minutes. Winger Sainey Nyassi got his head to Galvão’s cross in the 69th minute to level the score, before Ameobi gave FC Edmonton the lead three minutes later after smashing his shot past Holt for the 2-1 lead.

A minute later, a coming together of Diakité and Barnes in the FC Edmonton box led to a sending off for the Cosmos after Barnes kicked out at the Senegalese defender. It would only get worse for the hosts after Guerra head-butted Eustaquio five minutes later to reduce the Cosmos to nine.

“Things happen so quickly and I actually didn’t see the incident with [Diakité] but the players on the bench said [Barnes] had a genuine kick-out, which was great for us because it broke up their back-four and we knew that they were struggling at centre-back with Ochieng not dressing and Jakovic being away on international duty,” Miller added. “I knew that could be a genuine turning point in the game.”

The Eddies then put the match out of reach in the 85th minute when Keegan got a touch to Corea’s low cross to make it 3-1. The Eddies soon made it four after Galvão's chip attempt over Holt was tipped, but Ameobi, flanked by two of his teammates with no defenders ahead of him, tapped the ball in for his second goal of the game and a 4-1 lead.

The Cosmos had a penalty stopped deep into extra time by Ingham in his debut, but the ensuing scramble led to a second opportunity from the sport for Ayoze, who took advantage of the chance to make the score 4-2 late in the match.

The final whistle blew on an incredible match with the Eddies heading back to Clarke Stadium with three points and an important match ahead this Saturday, June 10 against the league-leading Miami FC.

“It puts us four points out of that fourth-place position heading into a huge game at home against the league leaders on Saturday,” Miller said. "Hopefully we have a full house at Clarke Stadium to cheer the players on. But there’s still a ways to go. It’s a wonderful night for the club but we have a long trip home before we go at it again on Saturday.

“Hopefully this victory continues to add to the belief because we know we’ve underachieved so far this season, but tonight we must give the players credit.”

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