East River Derby Win - Goal Hanger Print

The memorable PK shootout is the latest edition to our Goal Hanger collaboration
Published Oct 12, 2020

The Cosmos have teamed up with The Goal Hanger to commemorate classic moments from the club’s Golden and Reboot eras, with Cosmos Country deciding which matches are most deserving of The Goal Hanger’s distinctive historic match infographic. The Goal Hanger now has it’s second “Jackson Pollock meets football” print available – an artful summary of the club’s dramatic first derby victory against NYCFC in 2015.

In a front of a crowd of 11,446 and in a game full of dramatic twists and turns, the New York Cosmos came away victorious in the inaugural East River Derby against MLS side New York City FC. The Cosmos erased a two-goal deficit in the second half before defeating New York City FC 4-3 in penalty kicks in their U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round tie to remain undefeated in competitive play in 2015. 

Despite good early chances from the Cosmos, New York City FC would take the lead in the 24th minute through an acrobatic effort from striker Kwadwo Poku. RJ Allen's cross into the box popped up in the air, and with his back to goal, Poku connected with an overhead kick to put the visitors in front 1-0. The goal came against the run of play and was NYCFC’s first shot attempt of the match. 

But it was NYCFC that would extend its lead with Poku scoring his second of the night in the 57th minute, collecting a ball from Pablo Alvarez and firing past Jimmy Maurer. Alvarez’s pass looked to have found Poku in an offside position but the linesman's flag stayed down.

The Cosmos would make a key second-half change when Leo Fernandes came on as a substitute in the 63rd minute to replace Sebastian Guenzatti, and the Brazilian midfielder made an immediate impact for the Cosmos. Just two minutes into his shift, Fernandes connected on a cross from Hunter Freeman to cut NYCFC's lead to one. Freeman's cross was flicked on by Lucky Mkosana in the box. Fernandes got ahead of his marker and beat NYCFC goalkeeper Eirik Johansen in goal. 

As the clock neared full time it looked like the Cosmos' run in the U.S. Open Cup was over, but Mkosana tallied in the 90th minute to level the score at two. Once again it was Freeman with a cross from the right wing, as Mkosana took one touch to settle and another to find the back of the net.

Mkosana nearly put the Cosmos ahead just a minute into extra time, with his shot beating Johansen low only to hit off the post, as Restrepo blasted the rebound over the net. A few minutes later it was Mkosana again getting a shot off, but Johansen was there to make a strong save for the visitors. 

Despite the Cosmos’ early pressure, it was NYCFC who could have taken the lead in extra time when Patrick Mullins was pulled down by Freeman in the box. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Alvarez stepped up for the kick, but his shot rattled off the crossbar to keep things all square at two in the 98th minute.

Maurer came up huge again in the second period of extra time, making a diving stop on Ned Grabavoy. As Maurer's save deflected across the box, Fernandes got his body in front of the rebound to make sure the match went to penalty kicks.

After Chris Wingert and Mads Stokkelien traded goals to open the penalty kicks, both Maurer and Johansen made big stops to keep the penalty score 1-1. Ballouchy scored for NYCFC and Fernandes fired his shot over the net, as the visitors took a 2-1 lead.

Maurer made another huge save on Mullins to keep the match going, and Adam Moffat found the back of the net to level the score 3-3 in penalties after five shooters aside.

Maurer's epic night continued as he made his third save of the shootout, stoning Shay Facey on NYCFC's sixth kick. Hunter Gorskie then stepped up to the spot and buried his shot, sending Shuart Stadium into a frenzy and the Cosmos into the fifth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Now Cosmos fans can relive all the drama of that derby victory with this print from The Goal Hanger, an ideal way to commemorate one of the greatest moments from the club’s Reboot Era.