Juan Guerra provided the boys in green their first scoring opportunity of the game in the 8th minute. The Venezuelan found space for himself inside the eighteen however his shot was easily saved by Puerto Rico goalkeeper, Trevor Spangenberg.
Guerra had another attempt on net exactly ten minutes later when he was sent one on one by Pablo Vranjicán. The midfielder sent his shot through the legs of the shot stopper however his heel was able to prevent the Cosmos from getting on the scoresheet.
Captain Carlos Mendes had an attempt himself in the 23rd minute, getting on the end of a cross. The defender’s shot was too high, resulting in a goal kick.
Three minutes later, Pablo Vranjicán nearly opened scoring in phenomenal fashion. After receiving the ball in the box via a Javi Márquez free-kick, the forward attempted a bicycle kick with his back to goal after taking a touch of the ball. Vranjicán’s shot bounced just wide of net, nearly finding the back of the net.
The 43rd minute saw both sides have great attempts on goal. The first came for the Cosmos when a corner kick sent in by Emmanuel Ledesma found a completely unmarked Carlos Mendes, who’s header forced Spangenberg to make a diving save. A giveaway in the back gave the visitors a great chance however after going around the goalkeeper, the PRFC forward’s shot was cleared off the line.
Controversially, the hosts were denied a goal in the 47th minute. A shot sent in by Flores was saved by the Puerto Rico shot-stopper however the rebound found Eric Calvillo, The midfielder’s header was punched away by the diving goalkeeper, however it bounced back off of his teammate. Prior to it being eventually cleared, the ball seemed to have crossed the line, however the referee disagreed.
47' The Cosmos are straight on the attack and this effort is either just over the line or brilliantly saved by Spangenberg.
— New York Cosmos (@NYCosmos) October 1, 2017
Jimmy Maurer was put to the test again in the 65th minute when second-half substitute, Emery Welshman, got a shot off at goal. Welshman worked the Cosmos defender and eventually got an attempt off, forcing Maurer to make a save.
The boys in green would eventually find the games lone goal in the 73rd minute when the play was began by Lucky Mkosana. The forward played the ball to Eric Calvillo who quickly moved it to Pablo Vranjicán who was making a run on the edge of the box. The Argentine took a touch and left it for Andres Flores who found Javi Márquez making a run into the box. The midfielder fired on the first time, beating the keeper at his near post and giving his team the lead.
The visitors attempted to find an equalizer prior to the final whistle, however their efforts were made even more difficult when they were reduced to ten men in the fourth minute of stoppage time. After being fouled from behind by Eric Calvillo, left-back Walter Ramírez attempted to bring Calvillo down by pulling his shirt and then sent both of his feet towards the young midfielder.
The referee blew the final whistle, earning the Cosmos a crucial three points. With this result, the New York Cosmos move into fifth placed in the Fall Season and add a two point cushion for the final spot in the NASL Championship.
The reigning NASL champions head to Indiana next to take on a struggling Indy Eleven next Saturday at 7:30 pm.