Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Armada FC Returnfor Fall Home Opener With Cosmos

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Armada FC return to Community First Park at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday for their North American Soccer League Fall Season home opener against the Spring Season Champions New York Cosmos.

The Armada are coming off a 4-0 loss at Minnesota United FC on Wednesday. Jacksonville played without two of its key offensive players for the majority of the game – Marcos Flores and Alhassane Keita, and played with only 10 men for the entire second half. 

Flores went down with a hamstring injury in the 35th minute and was subbed out for Tommy Krizanovic, and Keita was shown a red card in the 45th minute when his leg went high and collided with Minnesota goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock’s face when going for the ball. 

The Armada were also without regular starting right back Matt Bahner, who sat out the game with a knee injury, and regular starting left midfielder Lucas Scaglia, who served a one-match suspension for receiving two yellow cards against Atlanta on July 11.

The Cosmos last played on July 5 and notched a 1-1 draw with Indy Eleven in New York. After Indy got on the board first in the 26th minute, Cosmos midfielder Walter Restrepo scored the equalizer in the 78th minute off a rebound from a ‘keeper save to help New York extend its NASL unbeaten streak to 11 games.

The teams last met in New York on June 13 in the Spring Season finale and played to a 3-3 draw. After falling behind 2-0 in the first half, Pascal Millien, who is currently unavailable on international duty with the Haitian national team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, lifted the team on his shoulders and played a part in the Armada’s next three goals. He started his attack in the 59th minute when he found the upper left of the goal on a feed from Johnson.

Millien evened the score at 2-2 in the 73rd minute when he fired a laser shot past New York ‘keeper Jimmy Maurer from 13 yards out. After the Cosmos went up 3-2 on a Lucky Mkosona strike in the 79th minute, Millien curved in a cross to defender Joseph Toby in the box, who deflected the ball off his right heel and into the top right corner of the goal. It was Toby’s first professional goal. The draw allowed the Cosmos to finish one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Rowdies to clinch the spring title.

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