Boston City and 2015 National Premier Soccer League champion New York Cosmos B fought out an intense and entertaining 1-1 draw at Brother Gilbert Stadium on Saturday night.
The hosts were left wondering what they had to do to claim all three points as Paulo Henrique hammered the cross bar with a curling free kick just before the half hour mark, Jhonata Batista saw an acrobatic overhead kick saved, and Homero Morais rattled a post from 20 yards out.
The Cosmos had their chances too and dug in for a well-claimed point on the road, continually thwarting the wave of Lions attacks.
Last season’s NPSL Golden Boot and Golden Ball winner Nana Addai regularly had the vocal crowd of 606 on its feet with some close skills in a deep lying position and it was his through ball in the 12th minute that gave Boston City a deserved lead.
Batista collected the pass, got the ball caught under his feet initially and then made enough space for himself to create a finish that crept past the dive of Kyle Zolbeck at the far right post.
The Lions were pinned back immediately in response and six minutes later the Cosmos were level when Christian Thierjung raced onto a through ball that caught the home defense flat and chipped keeper Vitor Scariot with a perfectly placed finish from the edge of the 18-yard box.
“I think the nerves showed a little bit and 1-1 is not a terrible result against the Cosmos but I don’t care which team, we play I think we have a good enough squad to beat anyone,” said Boston City captain Ronaldo Vieira. “It was one slip, one lapse in concentration that let them back in the game.”
Addai came close with a stretched finish at the far post not long after Henrique’s set piece had shaken the woodwork and a crowd thrilled by a hatful of scoring chances saw an entertaining half deadlocked 1-1 at the interval.
The second period opened with tactical changes for the Lions as Yaw Addow was added to the attack and Jadson Leite to the heart of midfield for Michael Rincon and Luca Tarable.
Morais came within inches of regaining the lead just three minutes in and then the Cosmos enjoyed a spell of pressure as Scariot was tested by Jesus Alvarez and Matias Ruiz from distance.
A rash of bookings for the hosts saw Henrique, Leite, and Ronaldo Vieira given yellow cards and Boston City might have snatched all three points five minutes from time. Addow was released on the right, but opted not to unleash a first time shot and won a free kick that Addai blasted harmlessly across the penalty area.