Cosmos fall to LA Force, bow out of NISA Fall Championship

Published Sep 28, 2020
The New York Cosmos were eliminated from contention for the National Independent Soccer Association semifinals, dropping a 2-1 Group B decision to the Los Angeles Force at Keyworth Stadium on Monday night.
As the game kicked off, the Cosmos needed to win by five goals to book a spot in the final four after Chattanooga FC clinched a knockout-round berth with a 1-1 draw vs. the Cal United Strikers in the first game of the doubleheader. The Force went on to win the group.
Forward Shavon John-Brown scored for New York 35 seconds into second-half stoppage time, putting away a long left-wing cross by Mattia Cella at the far right post.
The Cosmos played the final 13 minutes with a man advantage after LA right back Erick Villatoro was awarded his second yellow card and was dismissed by referee Jacob Little.
The Force drew first blood in the 15th minute. Jimmie Villalobos sent a cross-field pass to Cristian Gordillo, who penetrated to the right side of the penalty area and fired a shot past goalkeeper Kevin Tenjo.
Four minutes later, New York came close to equalizing, but goalkeeper Hugo Gomez denied Geo Alves' point-blank header.
Los Angeles took advantage of a Cosmos error to double its advantage in the 40th minute. Danny Trejo intercepted a pass from defender Pedro Galvao and raced in to score from the top of the box.
The Cosmos had a golden opportunity to slice the lead in half in the 63rd minute after Villatoro was given a yellow for fouling halftime substitute Sal Barone in the penalty area. Isaac Acuna took the ensuing PK and Gomez dove to his right to deny the striker and keep New York off the scoreboard.
Gomez also denied second-half sub Aly Hassan twice, in the 47th minute and then with a one-handed save in the 64th minute. He also parried away Darwin Espinal's 22-yard free kick in the 80th minute.
In Group A, Detroit City FC and Oakland Roots reached the semifinals with the Michigan Stars and New Amsterdam FC being eliminated from contention.
The semifinals are set for Wednesday, Sept. 30 and the championship match for Friday, Oct. 2.
The Cosmos have one remaining game on their schedule as they will host FC Baltimore Christos in their final game of the NISA Independent Cup at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. The game was postponed from the summer.