Saturday, February 07, 2009

Throwback match: New York Cosmos vs. New England Tea Men

(I recently purchased a DVD of a New York Cosmos-New England Tea Men match from 1979. For reasons unknown, I decided to whip out the laptop and compose a little match report. Below, is said match report. Thirty years late. What can I say? I wasn't born in time to crank one out then. Jeez, like it was my fault or something.

Anyway...I know what you're asking: why am I posting it? Pfft. Because I can, that's why.)

June 24, 1979

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -On a Sunday afternoon, the New England Tea Men confidently marched onto the turf at Giants Stadium after triumphing over the defending NASL champions the previous Fourth of July. The 1-0 overtime stunner was easily the club's biggest victory during its first season in the NASL.

Carrying those memories under a hot, summer sun, the Tea Men evaporated amid the conditions and dropped a 0-1 result to the defending NASL champions.

Shortly after the opening whistle, the Tea Men steered an attack on the Cosmos end when Keita took a ball from Ringo Cantillo and raced down the left flank. The Ghanian dusted a defender and cut toward the edge of box, primed for a good look at goal. With the seduction of an early goal before him, he uncorked a shot that sailed wide of the far post.

However, it would be the first of only very few chances for Noel Cantwell's lads. The Cosmos, under the direction of newly-appointed technical director - i.e. coach - Professor Julio Mezzei, grabbed the Tea Men by their orange collars and shook them for the remainder of the afternoon.

First, it was Bogie Bogivic, who's shot screamed over the bar early in the first half. Minutes later, Marinho, from his right back spot, pushed all the way to the doorstep of the box and fired a low shot that forced Kevin "The Cat" Keelin to the ground.

Though the scoreboard remained unblemished at the half, it was only a matter of time before the law of averages prevailed. The Cosmos were attacking at will, while the Tea Men escaped danger time after time thanks to Keelin and some impressive marking of Giorgio Chinaglia by Peter Carr.

During the second frame, the Cosmos opened with an aggresive attack and kept their foot on the accelerator at length thereafter. The Cat was tested often. A close-range shot from Bogie Bogicevic eyed the goal before Keelin's right foot pushed it away at the last possible second.

But Keelin could only do so much with a porous defense in front. On a well-assembled attack, the Cosmos put together a meticulous string of passes in New England territory. Bogicevic fed a pass to an onrushing Ricky Davis, who stepped up and launched a bending 23-yard shot that screamed past the dive of The Cat and buried itself into the orange twine.

From there, it was elementary. The Cosmos kept pressing. The Tea Men kept defending. And clock kept ticking.

Around 2:00pm eastern, the Cosmos got their revenge from the Tea Men, with an impressive 1-0 victory before 46,000+ witnesses.

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