Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton Cosmos snatches draw in Edmonton on Senna’s free-kick goal

Cosmos snatches draw in Edmonton on Senna’s free-kick goal


For the first time in either this incarnation or the previous edition of the NASL, the New York Cosmos left Edmonton with at least a point.

A 79th minute free-kick goal from the league’s most profile player, Spanish international Marcos Senna, allowed the Cosmos to salvage a 1-1 draw with FC Edmonton. The goal came after referee Sheena Dickson judged that FCE defender Albert Watson had handled the ball just outside the area. Replays indicated that the ball hit Watson in the FC Edmonton crest on his jersey.

Coach Colin Miller watched the replay as part of our post-game show on Sportsnet. “Shocking decision,” he said as he came up from under the television hood.

What was also troubling was how Senna was able to hit a low free kick into the corner of the goal. The wall didn’t hold, even though a low free kick is always a risk when a player takes the shot from so close to edge of the box. At just 18 yards and a bit away from goal, it’s difficult to get the ball up and down over the wall, so often players choose to hammer the ball low and find holes in the wall.

That’s what Senna did.

The goal cancelled out a 59th-minute goal from Eddies’ midfielder Chris Nurse, who bagged his third goal in three games.

“We just had a lapse of concentration at a critical moment that cost us the game,” said Nurse, who chose to blame the wall, not the call.

New York’s Marcos Senna tries to elude FCE’s Chris Nurse. PHOTO: TONY LEWIS/FC EDMONTON

Nurse’s goal came after Cosmos keeper Kyle Reynish made an outstanding diving stop to deny Corey Hertzog’s headed effort. Fullback Edson Edward swung in a picture-perfect cross from the right wing, and Hertzog met it at the back post. Reynish dove and punched the ball away. It looked as if it was headed out for a corner, but Eddies midfielder Neil Hlavaty dashed to the ball, kept it in, and pushed the ball back across goal for Nurse to head in to a now open net.

Instead of giving up on the chance after the Reynish save, Hlavaty stuck with the chance and ended up creating the goal.

“I don’t think they (the Cosmos) gave up (on the play),” said Nurse. “Neil’s persistence have us the opportunity.”

“I was playing off of their defender’s shoulder,” said Hlavaty. “And I knew they weren’t going to pick up my run. When the keeper made that save, it fell to my side and I was able to play it back in. There were a lot of black shirts in front of the goal.”

Nurse’s goal opened up a game that had been very tight for almost an hour. Both clubs clogged the midfield, and there was very little space to play the ball in the middle of the park. Ironically, before the goal, Nurse and Hlavaty had pretty well neutralized Senna.

In the first half, there was only one scoring chance of note, a Lance Laing free kick in the 42nd minute that Reynish did well to dive and tip over the bar.

The goal by Senna brought the Cosmos to life. It got another chance right after the goal. Sub Alessandro Noselli got behind the back line, but Parker dashed put of the box to block the effort. The ball bounced off Parker’s chest and into the air. And, without knowing where the ball had gone, Parker smartly shielded Cosmos forward Sebastian Guenzatti from getting past him, as if he was trying to make a block on punt coverage. That gave time for Nurse to clear the ball from danger.

With five games played into the 14-match fall season schedule, the Eddies are now four points behind first-place Carolina.

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  1. Magnus

    September 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    I took a friend to the game who never would have gone, but was curious to see the Cosmos. At the end of the game he was disappointed. He thought both teams looked like English pub teams. And to be fair, it was a hard game to watch with no midfield play and a lot of North American ball chasing. He was also disappointed that the Cosmos had no stars or decent players other than the very old and sad Senna. He said he can now see why the Cosmos are not in the MLS and it is sad they are a terrible team. I couldn’t really argue with him. The biggest problem with getting anyone into the Eddies is the low level of play in the NASL. MLS looks like the EPL compared to it.

    • footy

      September 3, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      I really have to disagree with you that MLS is that much higher level of play than NASL. It really isn’t. In fact, a lot of stuff you say just doesn’t add up. Your friend could see why the Cosmos aren’t in MLS? I didn’t know the level of play was a condition to aquire a MLS franchise. Would TFC been rewarded one if it was? The fact is that it has absolutely nothing to do with it. The Cosmos are probably going to win the fall season and in a lot of parts of the world that would mean promotion to the topgflight (in this case MLS).

      And for them not having stars, there’s a reason why the original NASL folded, but you and your friend want them to repeat the same mistakes? They have stars, but for the D2 level, which makes perfect sense.

      If you think this is English pub league you’re dead wrong. I’m not saying it can compete with any top20 league in the world, but it’s a high level of football for you to enjoy in your hometown. Nothing else.

      If you want to see toplevel football you should stay at home and watch the EPL.

  2. footy

    September 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Well, the Eddies deserved more from that game. But Cosmos paid a lot for quality and that free kick WAS quality. Miller should be praised not for the line-up which had 3 real attacking players, but for his substitutes. They were all 3 attacking moves. He really wanted to win this one but the team didn’t push enough after Nurse scored. The players knew 1 goal wasn’t going to be enough, that whole second half was a solid performance.

    Adur was playing like Cox, chasing balls. He should be holding balls though and play more with his back towards the goal. He should be careful not to become another one of FC Edmonton’s short-term releases. I hope Dosanjh gets he start next game, he’s a very dynamic player.

  3. #alexclark1944

    September 2, 2013 at 4:24 am

    FCE played well but seem unable to hold a lead at home. Still to find the right combination up front – after Cox did well in the last home game, his non-appearance today was curious. More creativity needed from midfield – ? from a rejuvenated Saiko. Great crowd and great weather if not great result.

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