The New York Cosmos remained unbeaten in National Premier Soccer League action Saturday night, recording a 5-1 victory over 10-man Hartford City FC at Mitchel Athletic Complex.
Second-half substitute Aly Hassan scored twice while Junior Burgos and Ricardo Bocanegra added single tallies for the Cosmos (6-0-0, 18 points), who remained atop the North Atlantic Conference. New York’s first goal was a Hartford City (2-4-2, 8) own goal before a crowd of 4,125.
The Connecticut club became the first team to score against the Cosmos during the run of play in the seventh minute off a corner kick. Sebastian Stezewski fired a shot from the left side of the penalty area past goalkeeper Paul Blanchette to boost the visitors into a 1-0 lead.
The Cosmos equalized in the 19th minute off a corner kick of their own. Ansi Agolli started the scoring sequence, sending the ball into the penalty area. A scramble ensued on the left side of the box before the ball deflected off a Hartford defender past goalkeeper Evan Daddona for an own goal for a 1-1 deadlock.
After a Hartford City foul, Burgos boosted the hosts into a 2-1 advantage as he drilled a low, 20-yard free kick into the lower right corner in the 28th minute. It was Burgos’ third goal that he scored off a free kick.
In the 37th minute, Blanchette made a vital save as he came out of the net to deny an open Tyler Carlos in a 2-on-1 situation.
Hartford City was forced to play the remaining 34 minutes a man down after defender Andre Morrison severely fouled Burgos at midfield in the 56th minute.
Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes immediately replaced the El Salvadoran international with Giuseppe Barone.
Several minutes later, Bocanegra exacted a measure of revenge by converting a penalty kick for his first Cosmos goal after defender James Thompkins fouled midfielder David Diosa in the box.
The Cosmos weren’t finished. Only five minutes after he replaced Aaron Dennis, Hassan scored a nifty goal from the left side of the penalty area to up the lead to 4-1 in the 68th minute.
Hassan recorded his second when Daddona ventured out of the goal and the forward shot into an empty net for a 5-1 margin in the 84th minute.
At 5 p.m. Sunday, the Cosmos will visit the New York Athletic Club at Travers Island for another NPSL match.
After this weekend’s games, the Cosmos will play three consecutive matches on the road at the Brooklyn Italians on June 8, at Boston City FC on June 15, and then at the Rhode Island Reds FC on June 16.
They return to Mitchel to start a four-game homestand against the Greater Lowell Rough Diamonds on June 23 at 8 p.m.
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