July 2, 2015
Mistakes doomed Cosmos in loss to Red Bulls
HARRISON, N.J. -- There was no mistake what doomed the Cosmos in their 4-1 loss to the Red Bulls in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup round of 16 game Wednesday night: mistakes.
The Cosmos, who won their first two games in this year's competition, had their wheels come off in the derby match at Red Bull Arena.
"I think the mistakes we make, particular mistakes are the ones that put us in a difficult situation today," Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. "I thought we had moments of better play, we had the ball, we were creating chances, we were spreading the ball around very well, but there were key moments in which we give them the chance to find themselves in the right areas and they penalize us."
Cosmos forward Lucky Mkosana agreed.
"We just made some really bad mistakes and that's how they scored," he said. "Every time we gave away the ball they counterattacked us and they scored on us and I feel like we played a good game the first half, but when they scored that's when we fell short a little bit."
Last year the Red Bulls did not take their Open Cup match against the Cosmos seriously and deployed a lineup without several key players. This year, they did and it showed on the field.
"No question, I think they took it very serious," Savarese said. "They want to win it. We respect them and we're happy they took the game the way it should've been taken and we just wanted to have a good competitive game."
The Cosmos got that and then some.
Savarese refuse to make the fact the Cosmos hadn't played since June 13 -- when they got past New York City FC in a shootout at Hofstra University -- as an excuse.
"You can look back and look at a lot of things and find different things that you can say maybe if we would've played, maybe if we had a few more guys fitter in regards to not coming off of injury or some guys that were injured," he said "We could always find different things, but I don't want to say those things. I think we have enough players and a good [enough] team to be able to perform better today."
Last year the Cosmos were eliminated in the same round in controversial fashion by the Philadelphia Union.
"I think two different games, last year and this year, are completely different," Savarese said. "I think today is just a game in which we got penalized for the situation, Red Bulls were good and clinical to be able to punish us at those moments. For us it's difficult because we take this cup very serious because we see it's the only way for us to go to the CONCACAF competition so we take it hard and we get it in and maybe for us a difficult moment because we try our best to make it all the way."
Like the old Brooklyn Dodgers, the Cosmos will have to wait 'til next year.