Another game, another set-play success for the Jacksonville Armada.

 

Goals from a free kick and corner kick gave the Armada its first-ever victory at the reigning North American Soccer League champions, downing the New York Cosmos 2-0 Sunday at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

A Cosmos own goal combined with Ciaran Kilduff’s first score since signing in July lifted the Armada (2-3-2) above New York and into third place in the NASL combined standings.

Even allowing 67 percent of the possession wasn’t a problem.

The pairing of 6-3 target striker Kilduff and speedster Derek Gebhard continued to blossom, Kalen Ryden and Mechack Jerome anchored a resolute defense and keeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell earned his seventh shutout of the season.

The result: Jacksonville’s first victory in six all-time trips to New York.

With Kevan George away on World Cup qualifying duty with Trinidad and Tobago, Armada coach Mark Lowry was forced to adjust his lineup. Captain Aaron Pitchkolan moved up into midfield, Drew Beckie slid into central defense and Zach Steinberger dropped to the bench.

Jacksonville struggled to find continuity in the first 30 minutes, and New York (1-2-3) outshot them 5-0 in that span.

But that changed when Mechack Jerome stepped up for a 30th-minute free kick. Jerome’s driven ball met the awkward lunge of New York’s Juan Guerra, whose attempt to clear instead ricocheted into his own net.

Three minutes later, Cosmos keeper Jimmy Maurer charged out for a Jack Blake corner kick and whiffed, leaving Irish forward Kilduff with a tap-in for his first goal since joining the Armada.

An irate swarm of Cosmos surrounded referee Younes Marrakchi, but video replays indicated that Maurer was obstructed by his own teammates, not Armada players.

From there, an improvised Jacksonville defense held New York at bay, backed by Patterson-Sewell’s five saves and the relentless chasing of Blake and his colleagues in midfield.

Fullback Ryden blockaded the Cosmos’ right wing, winning seven one-on-one duels and making five clearances.

The Armada returns home to Jacksonville for a Saturday kickoff against the Indy Eleven at Hodges Stadium.