Cosmos v Spirit

Round 28 report by Chris Kunz
Canberra Cosmos v Northern Spirit

Weather: Cool and damp

This was a terrific match - perhaps the most entertaining Cosmos home game of the season.

Once again, it was the Uruguayan born combination of Castro and Cortes who illuminated the match with their goal scoring and flair.

Canberra were one up after only 48sec after Cortes cut a lovely ball down the left for Anthopoulos, whose beautiful cross was chested down by an surprisingly unmarked Castro, enabling him to turned the ball past Perosh.

Time and again, Cosmos broke, with Cortes' skills enthralling the crowd and pushing the home team into dangerous positions. The diminutive player had a header touched onto his right upright by Perosh in a half Canberra dominated.

Spirit's reply came after half an hour when Burgess was fed a header just left of the penalty spot - which he nodded past Tony Giannasca in the Canberra goal.

Canberra should have had a penalty when Bingley shoved Angelucci in the back, while Cortes nearly scored the goal of the NSL season after he twisted and danced through a couple of defenders before chipping a shot on the turn just over the crossbar from the right corner of the area.

The second half started better for Spirit - they seemed more motivated and actually held the ball for periods! Craig Foster skipped through some loose defending to chip over the advancing Giannasca from the right and the match seemed to drifting from the home side.

Miyazawa handled in his own area and Spirt should have had a penalty of their own - but then butchered a couple of easy chances to score.

As NSL fans have seen often in recent weeks, the Cosmos fought back, Castro cracking in a Perosh fumble from a cross with five minutes to go, then Perosh brought down Angelucci (supposedly) for a 90 min penalty. The local hero Cortes stepped up to plant the winner past Perosh and the fulltime whistle was greeted with a standing ovation.

The Spirit team don't deserve their travelling fans. They are paid far more than the Cosmos but once again failed to produce enough control, possession and decisiveness to gain points. The team from the capital, about to be dumped from the NSL will finish above their far wealthier big-city cousins!

It was good to catch up with some Spirt fans, particularly Darren Bosinovski. Also good to see Kasey at a Cosmos match even though he wore Breakers gear!

Beware Glory - Cosmos will make it hard for you to hold your 2nd spot next Sunday! This is not the scenario I wanted, but it will be a fascinating afternoon. If it is as entertaining a match as this one, it will be worth the trip from Perth.