The New York Cosmos were outshot heavily and saved by the upright on two occasions, but hung on to a 2-0 win in Miami, their first of the 2017 season.
Danny Szetela and Ayoze each scored a goal and Jimmy Maurer held Miami silent for his second shutout in three games.
The club made several noticeable changes from last week’s lineup against Miami. On the back line, Ryan Richter was noticeably on the bench as Darrius Barnes took his spot and Dejan Jakovic and David Ochieng paired up again.
Up top, Eugene Starikov received a start as Amauri and Irvin Herrera were on the bench.
The impact of Starikov’s start was noticeable as he earned the Cosmos their first shot on goal of the year in the ninth minute, following a crossed ball from Andres Flores. The ball was cleared away by Miami keeper Daniel Vega.
But Miami found their footing and in the 18th minute, they put Maurer back to the test. Enzo Rennella made his entry from the right side of the box and saw his cross pushed away. The follow-up landed at the feet of Calvin Rezende, whose shot was palmed away by the keeper who was able to get back across the net. Seven minutes later, Maurer found himself nudged off-balance as he cleared a ball. It ultimately was delivered to the feet of Richie Ryan whose empty-net shot was blocked by Richie Menjivar.
Miami’s best chance of the half came in the 39th minute when Rennella, again, delivered a cross, this time to Stefano Pinho, who got around the defense and fired a shot into the upright.
Maurer was called back into action heavily in the second half with a save against Rennella in the 46th and then a save against Robert Kcira in the 54th before the rebound fell to Kwadwo Poku who also hit the upright.
However, it was the visitors who would take the lead in the 58th minute when Richter, subbed on just three minutes earlier, whipped a cross into the box where Szetela finished with his head.
Despite several chances for Miami across the evening, New York struck again. Walter Restrepo made a run into the box before Hunter Freeman upended him. A penalty was given and Ayoze finished it to give New York the 2-0 win.
New York now will have a bye week, returning to host the Jacksonville Armada in Brooklyn on April 22nd.
- Maurer leads the league with two shutouts
- The Cosmos were outshot 22-4, but placed all 4 shots on goal, giving them their first shots on goal for the season
- The Cosmos break a 278-minute goalless streak in regular season NASL play.
- Szetela’s goal ties him with his output in 2016
- Ayoze scores his first goal since October 25, 2015