COSMOS COPA GROUP STAGE: DAY 1 RECAP
By Justin Block
The first day of Cosmos Copa's 2014 Group Stage is in the books.
After one day, the field has begun to look a little clearer. A handful of teams asserted themselves as title favorites, while others have some catching up to do. Given today's results, there will be plenty of highly anticipated fixtures for Day 2 of Cosmos Copa at Randall's Island.
Here's what went down tonight:
Gambia 3 Bolivia 0: Gambia really put Bolivia to the sword in the tournament's opening match.
Ireland 2 Ecuador 0: This hotly contested fixture had six yellow cards. Despite the active discipline record and the overall edginess of play, Ireland thoroughly controlled the flow and tempo. A little chippiness couldn't deter the Irish.
Senegal 0 El Salvador 0: El Salvador created a handful of proper chances, but failed to capitalize against a resolute Senegalese side. Neither team asserted its quality.
Ivory Coast 0 Mexico 0: There were only two yellow cards in this Group B match. Once again, neither team separated itself from the pack. Group B is anyone's for the taking after no dominant performances on Day 1.
USA 3 Poland 1: Poland took an early 1-0 lead, but Team USA kept their composure and settled into a nice attacking groove. Seconds after a sequence of unfortunate penalties for NYC Poland, Team USA equalized, and seized control thereafter. Michael Konicoff's pace and ingenuity on the left wing was key for the USA. NYC Poland have their work cut out for them on Day 2.
Haiti 5 Serbia 0: Haiti benefited from a loud supporter's group to breeze past Serbia. Based this result, the Haitians look like a clear tournament favorite going forward.
France 0 Italy 0: Italy had a few wasted counterattacks, and the French missed opportunities in the Italy's final third.
Afghanistan 4 Albania 1: Mohammad Mashriqi answered Albania's equalizer from Bljerdi Bardic by scoring twice. Afghanistan's enthusiasm and drive didn't go unnoticed.
Be sure to come to Randall's Island tomorrow between 8 a.m. ET and 5 p.m. ET for Day 2 of Cosmos Copa group play. If you can't come out, follow all of the weekend's action via the Cosmos Copa Twitter account @CosmosCopa.