The Armada FC drew 1-1 against the New York Cosmos Saturday in Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Armada FC were the comeback kids during their matchup against the New York Cosmos Saturday night. During the 95th minute Zach Steinberger nailed a clutch goal to give the Armada FC (2W-4D-0L) a 1-1 draw with the New York Cosmos (2W-3D-1L) after trailing the whole game.
“That performance was the best performance I’ve ever seen from the Armada against the New York Cosmos, who are one of the best teams in the NASL over the past few years,” said head coach Mark Lowry.
With a 12-game undefeated streak on the line, the Jacksonville Armada FC came out aggressive. Off of a corner, Mechack Jérôme launched a long ball from the “Jérôme Zone”, but the ball was just high of the target.
The New York Cosmos scored first with an impressive goal. During the 23rd minute, Javi Márquez kicked the ball into the right corner of the net giving New York the one point advantage off a free kick. Márquez took off his jersey in celebration, but was given a yellow card.
Armada FC’s Caleb Patterson-Sewell did not want to give the Cosmos a two-goal lead going into halftime. The goalkeeper extended his whole body to swat the ball over the net for a save in the 42nd minute. The Armada FC went into halftime trailing by one.
The Boys in Blue came out of the break relentless and within the first 20 seconds of the second half Derek Gebhard almost netted the first Armada FC goal of the night, leaving Jacksonville down 1-0.
There were many heartbreaking, close balls that the team could not score on. When it mattered though, the Armada FC delivered in a monstrous way. Steinberger tied the game with a volley close to the net giving the Armada FC the draw and a point during the 95th minute.
“Thankfully we pulled out a point in the end,” said Steinberger. “I was getting closed out and decided to go for the wonder strike and luckily the goalkeeper wasn’t able to get that one.”
The entire stadium went crazy and the fireworks erupting only added to the ambiance of the undefeated Boys in Blue.
“That’s the best goal I’ve seen,” said Lowry. “People will go home happy after scoring that, and we’ll build on this.”
“It’s a huge accomplishment [to comeback],” said Kevan George. “We’re a team. Our chemistry and grind from preseason is what brought us to this point. Are we surprised that we tied the game? No, we knew we had it in us. We just have to keep going and get wins.”
Although dropping to second place in the NASL, Jacksonville continues the undefeated streak. The Armada FC will return to action on May 13, as the team hits the road to play North Carolina FC. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at WakeMed Soccer Park.
JAX (4-2-3-1): Patterson-Sewell, Ryden, Beckie, Jérôme, Fisher (Eloundou 69’), Blake (Glenn 80’), George, Banks (O’Sullivan 89’), Steinberger, Johnson, Gebhard
NYC (4-1-4-1): Maurer, Mulligan, Jakovic, Barnes (Mendes 57’), Ritcher, Guerra, Ledesma (Herrera 68’), Flores, Szetela, Márquez, Restrepo (Ochieng 82’)
NYC: Márquez 24’
JAX: Steinberger 90+4’
NYC: Barnes (caution) 11’
NYC: Márquez (caution) 25’
NYC: Ledesma (caution) 45+1’
JAX: Banks (caution) 83’
NYC: Ochieng (caution) 87’