Jacksonville Sports Day

NASL: Armada Shut Out Cosmos for First Franchise Win in New York

The Jacksonville Armada FC secured the first-ever win in New York Sunday night with a 2-0 victory over the legendary New York Cosmos. The three points pushes Jacksonville closer to the playoffs.

“It’s a very hard place to come against a real quality team and to get the first win away to New York in franchise history says everything about the toughness of this group,” said Armada FC head coach Mark Lowry.

The first half began both physical and demanding for Jacksonville right out of the gates.

The Cosmos immediately forced goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell into action just one minute into the match by saving the first attempt by Javi Márquez.

In the 21st minute Starikov had a promising shot off a cross from Márquez, but it went over the net.
Midway through the first half, the Armada FC finally caught a break. Jérôme launched the ball off a free kick and

Juan Guerra was the first to it. In an effort to play it away from the net, he scored on an own goal to put Jacksonville ahead.

Four minutes later, Derek Gebhard created the first offensive opportunity for the Armada FC. He forced New York goalkeeper, Jimmy Maurer, to make a huge save and knock it out for a Jacksonville corner.

Jack Blake then stepped up to take the corner. In the midst of the crowd in front of the goal, newly-acquired striker Ciarán Kilduff was able to tap the ball into the net for his first-ever goal for Jacksonville and doubled the visitor’s lead.

A new wave of energy washed over the Armada FC as the team picked up energy on the field.

Kilduff almost added another goal to the sheet in the 42nd minute after connecting with a cross by J.C. Banks. He created space around the Cosmos defense and attempted a header in front of the net but it went just wide.

The teams left the field at halftime with the Armada FC ahead by two.

The Cosmos did not let up at all in the second half, forcing the Jacksonville defense to hold tight.

Starikov made a huge effort in the 48th minute with a bicycle kick that floated over the crossbar onto the top of the net, but did not go in.

Gebhard connected with Banks for another promising opportunity in the 61st minute. Banks stole the ball about 30 yards out and sent a cross to Gebhard in front of the box. He took a shot, but it was blocked by Maurer.

Jérôme put Maurer to work too in the 71st minute with a blast from a free kick, and forced another save by the goalkeeper.

The match wrapped up with one last opportunity for the Cosmos off of a corner, but Patterson-Sewell jumped up to secure it just as the final whistle blew. Jacksonville brings home all three points in the 2-0 victory.

“Tremendous achievement, “ said Lowry. “The standards in training we have set in the last couple of weeks are beginning to show in games. Ciarán getting his first goal and the team keeping a clean sheet is the icing on the cake after that fantastic team performance.”

The Armada FC will return home to play at Hodges Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. It will be a revenge match for Indy Eleven, who suffered a 3-2 loss to the Armada FC on Aug. 26.

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