By MIKE GRAMAJO
After conceding three goals in the first half, the New York Cosmos rallied in the second half, handing the Tampa Bay Rowdies their first defeat of season in a 4-3 victory at James Shuart Stadium.
Marcos Senna delivered the game-winning goal off a free kick in the 82nd minute when his ball curled over the Rowdies wall and beat goalkeeper Diego Restrepo.
“Today was a huge win for us, a very important win,” Cosmos manager Giovanni Savarese told SBI. “I have to say that I believed that the team would be able to come back in the second half and win.”
Despite Luke Mulholland and Georgi Hristov scoring the first two goals for the Rowdies in the 19th and 34th minute, Peri Marosevic’s put-back goal in the 32nd minute off a set piece gave the Cosmos a one-goal deficit before Lucky Mkosana gave the Rowdies the largest lead of night before halftime, chipping the ball over Cosmos goalkeeper Kyle Reynish.
With the win, the Cosmos remain in first place with 18 points in the NASL fall standings, four points clear from second place as they visit Minnesota United on Saturday.
Here’s a closer look at the rest of Week 9 action:
RAILHAWKS STAY PERFECT AT HOME, TOP STRIKERS
Both sides came in with dreadful winless runs, but the Carolina RailHawks topped the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, 2-0, to extend their unbeaten home record to 14 games at WakeMed Soccer Park.
“We’re excited for a lot of reasons tonight,” RailHawks head coach Colin Clarke told NASL.com. “We were coming off four tough results for different reasons and we had to ask ourselves if we were good enough. I think we answered some of those questions tonight.”
After a scoreless first half, the RailHawks took the lead in the 63rd minute when midfielder Breiner Ortiz’s left-footed volley outside the 18 yard line rocketed past Strikers goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Brian Ackley sealed the game in the 79th minute for the RailHawks, scoring a penalty kick after teammate Cesar Elizondo was tackled in the box.
SCORPIONS FALL TO UNITED
Pablo Campos’ 61st minute goal was all Minnesota United FC needed as they defeated the San Antonio Scorpions, 1-0, at the National Sports Center Stadium.
“This is our first win at home this Fall Season,” Minnesota United manager Manny Lagos told NASL.com. “It was a nice gutsy performance and we figured out how to get a win at home. I really thought they had very few chances in the second half.”
Simone Bracalello orchestrated the game-winning goal, finding Campos emerging in the center to tap the ball behind Scorpions goalkeeper Jeremy Vuolo.
SILVERBACKS DEFEAT EDDIES
Pedro Mendes’ 14th minute penalty kick proved to be the game winner, as the Atlanta Silverbacks pulled a 1-0 victory over FC Edmonton in front of 5,000 fans at Atlanta Silverbacks Park.
“FC Edmonton threw everything at us, but I think we only gave up one shot the whole night, so all the credit goes to the guys. I’m so proud of them,” Silverbacks head coach Brian Haynes told NASL.com. “I told the boys that we had to go out and put on a show and win the game.”
The Silverbacks drew the penalty kick when midfielder Pablo Cruz was taken down by defender Antonio Rago’s tackle from behind, resulting in the Brazilian burying the penalty kick to put Brian Haynes’ side up 1-0 early in the match.
With the 1-0 lead in hand, the Silverbacks went down to 10-men in the 37th minute after Danny Barrera received a red card for a violent foul on Eddies defender David Proctor.
- New York Cosmos – 18 points
- Tampa Bay Rowdies – 14 points
- Carolina RailHawks – 14 points
- Minnesota United – 14 points
- Atlanta Silverbacks – 13 points
- Ft. Lauderdale Strikers – 11 points
- FC Edmonton – 8 points
- San Antonio Scorpions – 4 points
What did you think of Week 9? Do you see the Cosmos winning the Fall Season? Can the RailHawks continue their perfect run at home? Do you see United making a run for the top spot?
Share your thoughts below.