The New York Cosmos played their strongest all-around match of the season and defeated the visiting San Antonio Scorpions 3-0 in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 5,032 at Shuart Stadium.
This was a big win for the Cosmos who lost all four matches they played to San Antonio last season.
“I think the team was very concentrated tonight,” Head Coach Giovanni Savarese said after the match. “I think they understood the importance of making a statement, getting the three points and being strong at home.”
The Cosmos broke on top in the 18th minute Raúl scored on a penalty kick to give the home team a 1-0 lead. The match was physical throughout with 30 fouls called in total, 19 of them against San Antonio.
That 1-0 lead held up through half time. Neither team managed to generate too much offense for the rest of the first half and the New York defense did a particularly good job of slowing down the Scorpions attack before they could get organized in the box.
“I think today was our best performance, defensively, we were the best,” midfielder Leo Fernandes added. “We didn’t give them many good opportunities and we controlled the pace of the game.”
The Cosmos continued to bottle up the San Antonio offense in the second half. Goaltender Jimmy Maurer made some big saves to earn the shutout for New York.
New York added two late goals to clinch the win. First, Ayoze made a pretty crossing pass on a free kick that was headed home by Roversio in the 81st minute.
Then, in the 86th minute, Fernandes scored on a header to make it 3-0 Cosmos. Raul’s cross was tipped by Lucky Mkosana before Fernandes was able to beat San Antonio goalie Daryl Sattler with the header.
Both Ayoze and Mkosana had very strong two-way performances tonight for the Cosmos.
“I think overall we worked well together as a team tonight,” Mkosana explained. “Gio emphasized trying to put pressure on them the entire time and stop them from playing from the midfield. I think that worked out.”
With the win, the Cosmos remain the only unbeaten team in the NASL with 5 wins, 3 draws and no defeats. They remain at the top of the league table.
The Cosmos return to action Wednesday night at 7:30 when they take on the Jersey Express in a U.S. Open Cup match at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. John’s University.
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Fans are encouraged to check out the post-match videos by clicking on the link seen here: