HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. | Kwadwo Poku scored twice, but ultimately New York City FC lost 4-3 to the New York Cosmos on penalty kicks in the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round in front of 11,446 on Wednesday night at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium.
The match was knotted at 2-2 after regulation and the score read the same after a pair of 15-minute extra periods. The two teams were again tied after the best-of-five penalty kicks at 3-all before Hunter Gorskie scored the winner in the sixth round to send the Cosmos through to the competition’s fifth round.
Chris Wingert, Mehdi Ballouchy and Mix Diskerud all scored in the penalty shootout for New York City FC, while Mads Stokkelien, Lucky Mkosana, Adam Moffat and Gorskie found the back of the net for the home side.
"To be two goals up in any game and not win, you’ve got to be drastically disappointed," New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis said. "We have to look at what happened. My feeling is we became too defensive and were surrendering the ball to them too easily, not willing to commit ourselves to get forward and keep them pinned in their half of the field. That caused us to defend for long stretches and anytime you do that, you’re going to make some mental errors and I think we made mental errors on the two goals.
"Again, we were in a position to win the game on a couple of plays and we didn’t take care of those either. A lot to take out of this game, but not a lot of time to digest it."
|New York City FC (3)||Made PK?||Cosmos (4)||Made PK?|
|Chris Wingert||YES||Mads Stokkelien||YES|
|Ned Grabavoy||NO||Hunter Freeman||NO|
|Mehdi Ballouchy||YES||Leo Fernandes||NO|
|Mix Diskerud||YES||Lucky Mkosana||YES|
|Patrick Mullins||NO||Adam Moffat||YES|
|Shay Facey||NO||Hunter Gorskie||YES|
New York City FC got off to a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute thanks to Poku, who was making his second start in the last three matches. Defender RJ Allen fed the ball to Mix, who spun around a defender and led the streaking left back down the line. Allen swung in an inch-perfect pass with the outside of his right foot toward Poku in the box. The midfielder’s initial touch was a little heavy and almost cleared by Cosmos defender Ayoze Perez, but Poku kept fighting and connected on an overhead kick for a one-goal advantage.
It was his second goal in two games.
Poku wasn’t done.
New York City FC held a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Diskerud won the ball in midfield and passed it forward to Pablo Alvarez in the 57th minute. Alvarez chipped the ball over the Cosmos’ back line, it took a bounce and was slammed home to the far corner by Poku for his third goal in two matches.
"I think we played well, I just think things didn’t go our way – we missed a PK, had a chance to finish the game off on the last PK too, but just missed it," Poku said. "I know it’s tough, but my teammates and coaches are staying positive and moving forward from this match."
The Cosmos, who won the NASL Spring Season Championship last weekend, got on the board in the 65th. Hunter Freeman’s cross from the right side was flicked on by Mkosana toward Leonardo Fernandes who found the back of the net.
The home side equalized in the 90th minute as Mkosana latched onto another Freeman cross. His low cross into the box was met by the Zimbabwe striker, who took a touch and placed it in the corner to knot the match at 2-2.
New York City FC return to action on Saturday against Toronto FC. Kickoff is 7 p.m. EDT from BMO Field.