June 29, 2016
TAKING THE BLAME
Maurer on his error and momentum change in Cosmos' Open Cup elimination loss: 'It's all on me'
By Michael Lewis
|Jimmy Maurer: "It was an absolute gift. We were outplaying them all over the park. An absolute gift. A terrible, terrible goal. It's all on me."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
QUEENS, N.Y. -- After the Cosmos were shown the door from yet another frustrating fifth-round exit in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night, there was some finger-pointing going around the team about the blame.
Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer pointed to himself and took the blame full responsibility for the excruciating 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution at Belson Stadium on St. John's University Wednesday night.
With the Cosmos leading 2-1 in the 75th minute, Maurer said it was his mistake that allowed the Revs to equalize and get back into the match and eventually walk away winners.
His poor punt led to second-half substitute Kei Kamara's equalizing goal in the 75th minute.
"It was an absolute gift," he said. "We were outplaying them all over the park. An absolute gift. A terrible, terrible goal. It's all on me."
Maurer might have been a little hard on himself because his teammates also had something to do with the third consecutive elimination from the Round of 16.
"This one is just tough to take," Maurer said. "We outplayed them. We played well. We should have won the game."
Midfielder Sebastian Guenzatti, whose 56th-minute score had given the Cosmos the 2-1 advantage, echoed his goalkeeper’s sentiments.
"It was very difficult," he said. "I thought we had the game under control. Two unlucky plays. It was our mistakes. We gave them the game. That's the way soccer is. They took advantage of their chances and they got the win."
And the Cosmos left Belson, with another fifth-round loss, following in the footsteps of their controversial defeat at the Philadelphia Union in 2014 and their 3-1 setback to the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena last year.
New England will play the Philadelphia Union, 2-1 comeback winners over the Red Bulls, in the July 20 quarterfinals.
"I felt this year could be the year," Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese said. "I felt our team is good enough to win this championship. But we’re also humble enough to know in order to accomplish that, it’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of commitment, a good bounce of the ball your way. Tonight we were not clinical the first half and toward the end of the second half we just gave the game away."
This is how the Cosmos gave the game away:
Enjoying a 2-1 the edge in the 75th minute, Maurer miskicked a punt that was intended to land deep in the midfield. Instead, it hit the head of a New England midfielder Steve Neumann, who passed it to Kamara. The former Columbus Crew standout bolted in alone on the right side and fired a shot that Roversio blocked. The rebound went back to Kamara, who slipped the ball past Maurer at the near post.
"It was a joke of a play from me," Maurer said. "Cost all our hard work. The guys did incredible the whole game. They were running the show in front of me. One play completely changed the momentum, got them back into it and absolutely killed us. It can't happen at this level. I completely took the legs out from under from our guys."
The Revs were not finished from finishing or finishing off the Cosmos.
Kamara set up Bunbury for the game-winner from eight yards on the right side, slotting the ball past Maurer in the 83rd minute.
"You cannot make mistakes when you have players on the other side that can penalize you," Savarese said. "We did a good job until that point, but then we gave two away."
The Cosmos drew first blood in the 38th minute. Juan Arango crossed the ball in from the left wing to Jairo Arrieta, who flipped a short pass to Ruben Bover. As goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth came out of the net to cut down the angle, Bover slotted the ball into the lower right corner from seven yards for a 1-0 lead.
"I thought our guys played an excellent match," Savarese said. "We had most of the game, we created chances, we should have been a little more clinical to finish the chances. When you play at this level and you make the kind of mistakes we make, in the end you get penalized."
Five minutes later, the Revs equalized on a bullet of a goal from the right side of the penalty area by Bunbury, off a long looping pass from the left flank by Diego Fagundez, for a 1-1 deadlock.
Guenzatti lifted the Cosmos into a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute as Arango looped a high left-wing feed to the midfielder on the right side of the penalty area. He fired a shot past Shuttleworth.
The Cosmos won't have much time to feel sorry for themselves. They host the Ottawa Fury FC in their North American Soccer League fall season opener at Shuart Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.
"This is over," Guenzatti said. "We just got to look forward to Saturday and give everything Saturday to get a win."