Cosmos Unable to Find Breakthrough Against Chattanooga

Published Sep 25, 2020
The New York Cosmos secured their first point of the National Independent Soccer Association Fall Tournament, playing Chattanooga FC to a scoreless draw in a Group B match at Keyworth Stadium on Friday evening.
The tie kept the Cosmos (0-1-1, 1 points) in contention for a semifinal berth, although they must win their final group stage match against the Los Angeles Force (0-1-0, 0 points) on Monday might and hope for some help in FC Chattanooga’s (1-0-1, 4 points) contest with the Cal United Strikers (1-0-0, 3 points).
Second-half substitute Charlie Ledula almost boosted the Cosmos to a dramatic victory, but his six-yard header sailed just to the right of the net in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Forward Shavon John-Brown was New York's most influential attacking player. The Grenada international was seemingly all over the field, trying to force turnovers and causing havoc. He blasted a shot from atop the area over the crossbar in the 65th minute and was denied by goalkeeper Alec Redington, who swiped away his shot from the left side with his hand in the 79th minute.
Head coach Carlos Mendes fielded one of his strongest forward lines this season, starting Isaac Acuna, Bledi Bardic and John-Brown.
The Cosmos, who enjoyed a huge possession advantage for the second successive game, did everything but score as they outshot their rivals, 20-14, while placing nine shots on goal compared to Chattanooga FC's four.
They played with a sense of urgency, winning first and second balls, intercepting passes at midfield while producing some scoring opportunities. Those attempts were blocked by the defense or snared by Redington.
New York stretched the Chattanooga defense in the 13th minute as Bardic ripped a shot that Redington knocked away. Chattanooga defenders blocked follow-up attempts by Acuna and Giuseppe Barone before clearing the ball.
A minute later, Redington caught a redirected shot by Barone before stopping Danny Szetela's 25-yard shot in the 23rd minute.
Right fullback Pedro Galvao played a strong first half, reading the game well, overlapping and helping set up a few scoring chances.
Cosmos goalkeeper Jesse Corke (four saves) was rarely tested but stepped up when called upon as he denied Brian Bement off a through ball in the 26th minute and off a counterattack in the 72nd minute.
Prior to the match, the Cosmos announced that they will host FC Baltimore Christos in a make-up match from the NISA Independent Cup from the summer. The game will be played at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. on Saturday, October 10 at 3 p.m.