By Ben Tetelman

After two days of competition, the Cosmos Copa 2014 is officially underway. From huge upsets to last minute comebacks, this year’s tournament has already highlighted the quality of the beautiful game in the world’s greatest city.
Group A

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
NYC Mexico 3 1 0 +1
NYC Croatia 0 0 1 - 1
NYC Scotland Have Not Played NA NA NA
NYC Turkey Have Not Played NA NA NA

The first game of the 2014 Cosmos Copa saw NYC Mexico earn the first three points of the competition, taking them to the top of the table in Group A.
Frustration built early, as both sides could not capitalize on their opportunities in the final third. With the score line 0-0 at half, it seemed like the first game of the Cosmos Copa would end in a scoreless draw.
NYC Mexico came out strong in the second half, utilizing their skill in the midfield and their ability to strike from distance. The second half also saw NYC Mexico with the majority of possession. As shots from range were hammered at the Croatian net, the only part of the goal NYC Mexico was able to find was the post.
The breakthrough finally came for NYC Mexico when a misplay from the Croatian goalkeeper set up the easiest of finishes for Victor Hernandez.
Now 1-0 down and on their heels, NYC Croatia sent men forward in an attempt to even things up before the final whistle. Some foul play between players led ejections for both teams, who would be playing with 10 men for the remainder of the game. More undisciplined action from NYC Croatia led to another red, eliminating any chance for an effective offensive attack.
“It was very important to win the first game. Now we will get to look at how the other teams will perform” Said NYC Mexico president, Gabriel Islas.

Group B

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
Zimbabwe 3 2 1 +1
Greece 1 0 0 0
Ecuador 1 0 0 0
England 0 1 2  -1

Perhaps the first dark horse of the tournament has emerged as NYC Zimbabwe. The newest addition to the Cosmos Copa 2014, currently sits atop a strong Group B.
The new kids on the block were matched against NYC England in what was the third game of the 2014 Cosmos Copa.
NYC Zimbabwe wasted no time getting forward as early opportunities down the flanks showcased the teams speed and ability to deliver crisp diagonal balls. With strong attacks by the Africans, NYC England was forced to concede dangerous set pieces.
The scoring came only minutes in to the match as NYC Zimbabwe capitalized on some sloppy play in the box from a corner kick.
NYC England looked a bit shocked by the early goal, however the team settled in and was able to create some chances of there own. Although it looked as if NYC Zimbabwe would take a commanding lead, the quick start was deceiving as NYC England fought back to dominate the remainder of the first half.
Defensive mistakes by Zimbabwe saw England close to leveling, but as England pressed the offense in hopes of evening the match, they became more vulnerable to counter attacks.
Barely holding on to the lead, NYC Zimbabwe was able to put the final nail in the coffin as their side was able to score off an organized counter attack. A late consolation goal by England made things interesting in the closing moments of the match, but the side did not have enough time to complete the comeback.
The other match in Group B was a gritty battle between NYC Greece and NYC Ecuador. With the heat taking a toll on the players, neither team was able to finish, thus both sides would have to settle for a point.
Group C

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
NYC Spain 3 2 0 +2
NYC Ireland 3 1 0 +1
NYC Paraguay 0 0 1  -1
NYC Egypt 0 0 2  -2

NYC Spain tested Egypt’s keeper early and often, as La Roja would eventually go on to win 2-0, cementing their position as table leaders in Group C.
The first half was highlighted by NYC Spain’s ability to control the ball in the central midfield and create chances through nifty distribution. NYC Spain’s Ruiz Fernandez was perhaps the best player on the pitch. His ability to beat defenders and see the field became a nightmare for NYC Egypt.
Even with the majority of the possession, NYC Spain was unable to make a breakthrough in the first half. In an attempt to make Spain pay for their lack of finishing, NYC Egypt created some attacks of their own, and had arguably the best chance of the half on a breakaway from midfield.
Even at halftime, both teams came out strong in the second half. Opportunities were created on both ends, but it would be NYC Spain who would strike first. Balls played over the top put NYC Spain’s attackman into good areas and the offense was able to tuck one in the back of the net. 
“Our strength is our touching quality, which is reminiscent of the Spanish national team” Said NYC president, Marcos Rollan.
A second goal came when a penalty kick was awarded to Spain late in the match. After the spot kick was converted, NYC Egypt’s hopes of a victory in their first qualifying game were all but lost.
The other match in Group C featured a battle between NYC Ireland and NYC Paraguay. The lone goal by the Irish was enough to acquire a win and secure three important points. Ireland, who has had great success at the Cosmos Copa with three knockout stage appearances, could be favorites to win Group C.
Group D

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
NYC Albania 3 2 0 +2
NYC Japan 1 3 3 0
NYC Colombia 1 3 3 0
NYC Kosovo 0 0 2 -2

A seemingly impossible comeback made by NYC Japan will go down as one of the greatest moments in Cosmos Copa history.  The Japanese were paired against a skilled NYC Colombia side in the first match of the day for Group D.
NYC Japan made their mark early as they scored a beautiful goal just minutes into the first half.  The goal was matched by NYC Colombia, who scored shortly after with a long ball over the top for a headed goal.
A turn of events saw Colombia with control of the game, and with dangerous movement from the flanks; Los Cafeteros were able to score again. 
The lead would not last long as NYC Japan scored shortly after a missed penalty kick, rewarded for a costly challenge by the Colombian defense.
Even once again, it seemed as if there was no time for either team to create a goal scoring opportunity. However in the 90th minute, scrappy play outside NYC Japan’s box led to an amazing goal from an overhead volley by NYC Colombia.
Now leading 3-2 with seconds remaining, it looked like NYC Colombia would be leaving Randall’s island with the maximum three points. With the whistle in his mouth, the referee was ready to end the match after an ensuing Japanese attack, but somehow Japan was able to release the ball down field and score before the final whistle.
In shock, NYC Colombia players stood with their hands above their heads. They were even once again. Before the ball was even placed at half, the whistle was blown and the game was over. Both teams would have to settle for one point in a 3-3 draw that was nothing short of spectacular.
The other match in Group D featured NYC Kosovo and NYC Albania. Albania, winners of the first ever Cosmos Copa showed their experience in a 1-0 win against the Kosovar.
Group E

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
NYC Peru 3 3 0 +3
NYC Serbia 3 2 1 +1
NYC Argentina 0 1 3 -2
NYC Brazil Disqualified DQ DQ DQ

Some of the most shocking results of the tournament came from Group E, which featured a great match between NYC Argentina and NYC Serbia.
NYC Argentina entered the match with a very strong record in pre qualifying friendly matches. With victories against Egypt and Bolivia, it seemed as if NYC Argentina would come into the 2014 Copa as favorites to win the group.
In a heated battle against NYC Serbia, NYC Argentina found themselves with a big advantage when red cards left NYC Serbia playing with nine men for a significant period of time.  Even with the advantage, only one team was able to capitalize on its opportunities. With a fast break off an attack by Argentina, NYC Serbia tucked in its second goal of the day. Serbian fans screamed from the sidelines and in an instance NYC Argentina’s hopes of qualifying for a position in the group stage were diminished.

While NYC Argentina had lost, they still had a chance to salvage points for the day in a second match against NYC Peru. However, NYC Peru proved to be superior in a 1-0 win.
Group G

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
NYC Afghanistan 3 3 1 +2
NYC Uruguay 3 3 2 +1
NYC Chile 0 2 3  -1
NYC Ghana 0 1 3  -2

NYC Afghanistan made a statement to the Copa community with a staggering 3-1 victory over NYC Ghana in the first day of qualifying for the 2014 Cosmos Copa.
NYC Ghana struck first with a goal by Sani Mubarack from the spot after NYC Afghanistan’s keeper was forced to bring down the Ghanaian forward on a breakaway.
A little bit of misfortune to the benefit of Afghanistan saw both teams level after an own goal by Ghana off a cross from the outside.
With a first half characterized by sloppy and inaccurate passing, it was as if a new NYC Afghanistan team had come to play in the second half. Beautiful combinations released players for Afghanistan and the team was able to slot a pair of goals past the Ghana defense, which showed no shortage of quality.
Day two of the Cosmos Copa 2014 featured a South American derby between NYC Uruguay and NYC Chile. NYC Uruguay’s Andres Berriel’s two goals proved to be the difference as Uruguay went on to defeat Chile 3-2.
Berriel is currently tied with NYC Haiti’s Fritzon Jean Baptist as the tournaments top scorer.
Group H

Team Points Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference
NYC Haiti 3 4 0 +4
NYC Ukraine 3 1 0 +1
NYC Guyana 0 0 1  -1
NYC Guinea 0 0 4  -4

NYC Haiti completed the largest victory in day one with a 4-0 win over NYC Guinea in the sixth annual Cosmos Copa tournament.
NYC Haiti came back to this year’s Cosmos Copa in fine form, pressuring high and fast all game. The constant movement resulted in numerous chances for Los Grenadiers, which were buried with ease.
Throughout the game Guinea tried to settle in and gain some momentum, but NYC Haiti’s midfielders and defenders made sure to maintain possession and prevent the opposition from creating any offensive threat.
Another matchup in Group H featured a tight match between newcomers NYC Guyana, and NYC Ukraine.
NYC Ukraine took the lead with a goal resulting from scrappy play off a set piece and defended well for the rest of the match, defeating Guyana, 1-0.
Golden Boot leaders:
NYC Uruguay: Andres Berriel (2)
NYC Haiti: Fritzon Jean Baptist (2)