The visitors couldn’t have gotten off to a brighter start, with Giuseppe Gentile and Emery Welshman scoring less than two minutes apart in the early going. Gentile’s goal came after some textbook attacking play in the 15th minute. Welshman provided the assist. He got a goal of his own shortly thereafter, firing a shot low into the net after Cosmos defender Dejan Jaković blocked his initial attempt.
Spanish midfielder Yuma was sent off midway through the first half, however, and Puerto Rico’s fortunes changed almost instantly. Salvadoran international Andrés Flores tapped home an easy finish in the 42ndminute before Venezuelan teammate Juan Guerra headed home the equalizer seconds before the halftime whistle.
New York came out of the break full of confidence and it didn’t take the hosts long to grab the lead for the first time. Following a corner kick, defender Ryan Richter ran onto a deft flick from Jaković and powered a header past visiting goalkeeper Trevor Spangenberg to make it 3-2.
After Walter Restrepo doubled the Cosmos’ lead in the 58th minute, Gentile drew a penalty kick for Puerto Rico five minutes later. Club captain Cristiano Dias stepped up to the spot and fired a shot high into the net to cut New York’s lead to 4-3.
Substitute forward Pito Ramos nearly brought 10-man Puerto Rico level at 4-4, but the Puerto Rican international saw his powerful free kick palmed over the bar by Cosmos goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer.