Cosmos can’t connect, draw with San Francisco

There were plenty of chances— the Cosmos just couldn’t capitalize.

New York played the San Francisco Deltas to a 0-0 draw at MCU Park on May 27, unable to connect on a handful of scoring chances, even as the squad controlled the tempo from the opening whistle.

“I think we want to win every game, we want to have those three points, but we have to look at the positives and today the performance was very good,” said Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese.

“We were missing only a few good movements inside the box, but overall the movement of the ball, the fluidity of play, the way we recovered the ball, we looked like a strong team,” he added. “I think this gives us a good feeling about what is coming in the future.”

The Cosmos had the first chance of the match, but the shot sailed wide of the net in the 22nd minute. San Francisco responded just three minutes later when a Greg Jordan through-ball found forward Thomas Heinemann.

Goalkeeper Brian Holt held strong between the pipes as he filled in for starter Jimmy Mauer, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

“I was called upon tonight, so I just tried to make the most of my opportunity, just play my game and keep it secure in the back,” Holt said. “The guys in front of me did a heck of a job to make it a little easier. We got a lot of ground balls, challenged them and that helped out.”

It was a physical game from the outset, with several yellow cards in the first half, but the Cosmos weren’t surprised; if anything, the home squad fed into the Deltas’ physicality, taking advantage of San Francisco’s defensive mindset and pushing the ball into the attacking third as much as possible.

“When you have two teams that are good teams and two teams that really want to win, you’ll see these types of matches,” Savarese said. “It was a battle today. You’ll see yellow cards because it was a very physical game. But I think, from the first half, we dominated.”

The Cosmos took their offense to the next level in the second half, recording several key opportunities in the first few minutes of the period. Emmanuel Ledesma led the charge — directing a pass to midfielder Javi Márquez whose header bounced off the crossbar before he followed up with his own shot that bounced off the side netting.

“We tried, we hit the cross bar, had a couple of chances, but today’s a day [we came up short],” said Ledesma, who was named Man of the Match. “I think we play 20 more minutes, we’d score. We tried, we created, but we missed the opportunities.”

New York controlled possession for much of the second half, and had several goal-scoring opportunities, but failed to find the back of the net. It was a frustrating match for the Cosmos. The team has struggled on offense at home this season, but did its best to focus on the positives, and is determined to build on its front-line control.

“I think the movement of the ball, how we played from the back, the solutions that we found, we were able to have fluidity of play against a team that closes spaces,” Savarese said. “We found different areas that they struggled with and we took advantage of it. But the goal was a thing we missed today, out of a very good performance.”

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