Miami FC falls to N.Y. Cosmos 3-2 after late breakdown

Miami FC forward Dario Cvitanich (12) runs with the ball in this April 22, 2016, file photo.
Miami FC forward Dario Cvitanich (12) runs with the ball in this April 22, 2016, file photo. FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Miami FC twice caught up with the defending 2015 league champions, but a late defensive breakdown doomed the club on Saturday night.

Lucky Mkosana scored his second goal of the match in second-half stoppage time to give the New York Cosmos a 3-2 victory over Miami at FIU Stadium. Unmarked on the edge of the goal line, Mkosana tapped in a corner kick that kept Miami winless in the early NASL fall season.

Miami (0-1-1, 1 point) seemed headed to its second consecutive draw after Dario Cvitanich’s successful penalty kick in the 87th minute. New York defender Hunter Freeman fouled Miami’s Jaime Chavez inside the penalty, resulting in Cvitanich’s conversion.

The Cosmos (2-0, 6 points) took their second one-goal lead on Yohandry Orozco’s goal in the 81st minute. Andres Flores’ touch pass found a streaking Orozco deep inside the large area. Orozco beat Miami goalkeeper Daniel Vega with a shot from 8 yards.

Seeking the equalizer after surrendering a goal late in the first half, Miami tied it at 1-1 on Kwadwo Poku’s goal in the 73rd minute. Poku, who joined the team from MLS club New York FC two weeks ago, received Cvitanich’s long cross from the left wing, raced inside the large area and converted on a 15-yard shot that landed inside the left post.

The Cosmos broke through on Mkosana’s goal in the 39th minute. David Diosa’s cross from the left wing found an open Mkosana inside the 6-yard box, where he tapped in a shot past Vega.

Three minutes earlier Vega denied two Cosmos’ scoring opportunities on consecutive attempts. Vega deflected Orozco’s shot from the right wing and stopped Juan Arango’s header off the subsequent corner kick.

Cvitanich nearly opened the scoring in the 21st minute, when Cosmos goalkeeper Brian Holt dove and deflected his indirect free kick from the half circle.

The free kick was a result of Holt’s hard foul on Chavez as both pursued a loose ball on the edges of the penalty area. Holt received a yellow card for the infraction.

Miami was in attack mode from the opening whistle, resulting in Chavez’s shot deep in the penalty area that required Holt’s stop. The frequent pressuring earned Miami two corner kicks in the first three minutes.