HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Indy Eleven’s chance to pull even with the New York Cosmos atop the NASL standings went the way of the home side instead, as New York dominated the proceedings from the get-go in a 3-0 win at Shuart Stadium on the Hofstra University campus.
It was all Cosmos in the first half, the league leaders taking only eight minutes to push the scoreboard. Forward Jairo Arrieta did the heavy lifting on the opener by drawing three Indy defenders at the top of the area before flicking a short pass to Ruben Bover, who took one touch before firing a low shot that squeezed between a diving Jon Busch and the right post to put New York up early.
It was all Juan Arango on the Cosmos’ second tally, creating a penalty kick when he went to ground after absorbing contact on a Nemanja Vukovic challenge in the 16^th minute. The Venezuelan international would take the spot kick himself, sending Busch the wrong way and finishing into the right side of goal to double the lead at 2-0.
Busch did well to keep the score right there just before the half hour mark by stopping Arrieta on back-to-back shots, first stoning the Costa Rican with a kick save on his effort near the spot before stopping a chipped follow up on the doorstep.
Indy Eleven would finally get some good looks down the stretch of the first half, a free kick from 30 yards in the 43^rd minute by Vukovic looking dangerous but missing just wide right. The final play of the half saw captain Colin Falvey intercept a pass at the midfield stripe and carry all the way to the 18 before squaring for Souleymane Youla, whose low shot was sent right to Cosmos ‘keeper Jimmy Maurer .
Indy Eleven came out of the locker room at halftime the aggressor, with Don Smart’s lashed effort from the right side of the area that forced Maurer into a two-handed save in the 51^st minute signaling the visitors’ intentions. However, that aggressiveness would be tamed just two minutes later when Cory Miller was shown a straight red card, his last-defender tackle that ended Arango’s run ending the Indy center back’s night early.
The play also resulted in a point to the penalty spot, but Arango’s second spot kick of the evening would soar over frame, keeping Indy Eleven within arm’s reach. Arango would also be denied a brace on another Busch kick save in the 65^th minute and after missing on a header in the 70^th that he pushed just inches left. However, the Cosmos midfielder’s second tally would finally come in the 73^rd minute, this time his header off a Bover cross skipping past Busch and into the left side of goal to lift the score to 3-0.
Other than a Dylan Mares shot from 10 yards out in the 77^th minute that Maurer saved, the visitors mustered no serious threats on goal from there on out. On the other side, New York created a handful of chances, but the Indy defense managed to maintain the scoreline the rest of the way, no small feat against a Cosmos team that leads the league in scoring and posted a 6-1 win over Carolina just four days ago.
With tonight’s game ending a three-game, 11-day road trip, Indy Eleven will return to the comforts of IUPUI’s Carroll Stadium this Saturday, Sept. 3, to finish off its three-game week against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.