2015 ROUND OF 16 PREVIEW: PART 2
By Aaron Cheris
After a well-contested opening round of Cosmos Copa play, 16 teams have advanced to keep their championship dreams alive. All games in the Round of 16 will be played on Sunday, July 19 at Randall's Island.
NYC Senegal vs. NYC Ireland
Two teams with histories of Cosmos Copa success will meet trying to keep their team’s history alive. Both NYC Ireland and NYC Senegal have come close to winning a title, but haven’t claimed the trophy yet.
After a draw against NYC Paraguay to open the tournament, NYC Ireland beat NYC Japan and NYC Jamaica to claim Group E’s top spot going into the Round of 16. Defense was key for the Irish in the opening round, as NYC Jamaica couldn’t score against NYC Ireland after they scored 12 goals in their previous two games.
For NYC Senegal, the knockout stage began with a do or die game against NYC Kosova in the opening round. With their tournament on the line, NYC Senegal stepped up and beat NYC Kosova 3-0 to keep their championship hopes alive.
In what looks to be a tightly contested game, the two sides will once again fight to keep their championship hopes alive.
NYC Peru vs. NYC Gambia
Two teams who took very different paths to the Round of 16 will meet with a quarterfinals spot on the line on Sunday.
In the opening round, NYC Peru scored just three goals, but it was enough to advance because of two draws and one victory. NYC Peru is one of the younger teams in the tournament, and they hope that a strong performance in this tournament can lead to bigger things for many of the players.
On the other hand, NYC Gambia scored a mammoth 25 goals in the opening round, and their 20-0 victory over NYC Antigua was the biggest win in any opening round game. NYC Gambia claimed the Cosmos Copa championship last season, and they are riding a wave of confidence into this Round of 16.
The opposing styles will clash in the Round of 16.
NYC Ukraine vs. NYC Chile
Both of these teams started at the bottom of their group, but they both were up to the challenge and moved on to the Round of 16.
Before the tournament, NYC Ukraine president Alex Zarester said he hopes his team can play as a unit in order to succeed. The unit worked well for NYC Ukraine in their first two games, wins over NYC Holland and NYC Guinea. A loss to NYC Haiti sealed NYC Ukraine in as the two-seed going into the Round of 16.
For NYC Chile, the goal was to play simple and fast. After being one of the last teams to register for the tournament, NYC Chile had to work quickly in order to succeed. They did just that by winning all three of their opening round games without allowing a goal in the opening round.
A Round of 16 meeting will end one team’s title hopes, and both teams will do everything they can to make sure they aren’t going home yet.
NYC Mexico vs. NYC Argentina
Two teams with long histories of soccer glory meet in the Cosmos Copa Round of 16 on Sunday.
After failing to get out of their group last year, NYC Mexico did just that this time around behind a core of veterans with a new crop of young talent. A victory over NYC Spain and draws against NYC Colombia and NYC Poland pushed NYC Mexico through as the two-seed in Group D.
For the Argentine side, the opening round was all about winning. In victories over NYC Croatia, NYC USA, and NYC Albania, NYC Argentina conceded just one goal while scoring eight.
“We need to keep the concentration and play for each other,” NYC Argentina coach Carlos Ledesma said after an opening round win. “Then I know the victories are going to keep coming.”
This game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. ET at Randall’s Island Field 91.