By Christian Cordoba
Going into the match, the Armada wanted to show that they could run with the Cosmos, but many changes were made to the starting eleven. Keita was still out, but he made the trip, and Lucas Scaglia left to Argentina for family reasons so Nicholas Perea took his spot. Could a depleted Armada squad hang on against the best team in the league?
The Cosmos started strong and scored early when Gallardo was caught off his line by Raul who chipped the ball off the bar. Miguel was unlucky to have the ball then deflect off of his leg and into the net for an own goal. The Cosmos continued to possess the ball and pile the pressure onto the Armada. New York would score again after a player made it through the defense unmarked.
The Armada would prove to be no threat to the Cosmos in the first half, and the half time whistle saw the Cosmos leading 2-0.
The Armada came out from the break pressing hard, possessing well, and sending dangerous through balls into the opposing keeper’s area. This team looked much more similar to the dangerous, attacking Armada we had seen during the first half of the season.
Pascal and ex-NYC player Jemal Johnson would then combine with a one-two play that looked like it came straight from the training pitch. Millien finished the play with class, and everybody at Lynch’s Irish Pub, the site of the team’s watch party, was going crazy!
The goal goal the Armada new life, and filled fans with the belief that the team was still in the game. Jacksonville would continue the pressure and force a mistake from the Cosmos keeper. Pascal Millien would take advantage and, in the process of equalizing at 2-2, become the first player to score two goals in a game for the club.
The Cosmos looked to quash any hopes for a win and broke out on a counter-attack that pushed their lead to 3-2. Once again, the Armada defense failed to mark a man, and once again, it proved to be costly.
Joseph Toby was subbed on to bring some extra pace on the wings. The added pressure resulted in a corner kick for the Armada. Pascal was set to take and decided to take a normal corner, instead of the usual short corner that we see. He would send a great ball into the box, and the super-sub Toby took an outstanding volley to the back of the net with enough power to fly by the outstretched hands of the New York goalie.
Another shot from Jaime Castrillon almost turned this into a dream match for Jacksonville, but it was saved and the match ended with the scores drawn at 3-3
With two goals and an assist, Pascal Millien earns the Man of the Match.