Left back Ayoze was celebrated before the evening kicked off as he reached 100 appearances for New York.
Jairo Arrieta returned to the XI, Yohandry Orozco pushed out to the left wing and Andres Flores took over the right from Sebastian Guenzatti. Juan Arango also returned on the inside right.
David Ochieng was not included in the 18 and Jimmy Ockford was partnered with Carlos Mendes.
While New York applied pressure early, creating some opportunities, the Strikers came up with the first closest chance of the night in the 7th minute as Victor Pineda received a cross while wide-open and headed a shot just wide. They nearly pounced again in the 11th as Ayoze was pulled out of position for a free kick, leaving Geison Moura to make a free run down the left side before pulling his shot into the side netting.
The Strikers were dealt an early setback as Nana Attakora exited the match in the 22nd minute after a non-contact injury, replaced by Luis Zapata.
After a relative snoozer of a first half, the Cosmos finally got on the board in the second when Arango delivered a cross from the left sideline just outside the six yard box. Ruben Bover was there to finish it with a volley, earning his second goal in as many games.
“It’s the first time I’ve scored in two straight games,” Bover said. “It’s a good feeling. I hope it doesn’t stop.”
Orozco came close to getting on the board in the 77th minute when he fired a ball that rocketed off the upright, across the mouth of the net and away.
New York finally got its second goal in the 86th minute when Lucky Mkosana made a run to the left side endline inside the box, waited for his defender to commit to ground then crossed over him to a wide-open Andres Flores who beat goalkeeper Bruno.Lucky Mkosana nearly picked up a third, making a deep run into the Striker box, beating his defender and getting a shot away that was just tipped clear by the Strikers keeper.
The scoreline held, and a fourth trip to the playoffs was assured. With the way results have gone around the league, New York maintains a seven point lead in the race for the Fall title, which would grant them hosting rights for the semifinal, and an eight point lead for the Combined title, which would give them the right to host the final.
“It’s good to know we achieved something important,” said Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese. “We have a spot in the postseason. But we still have four more matches to play. We have to continue to grow, and we have to finish strong in order to have positive momentum.”
Those matches kick off with a trip to Ottawa, then another to Jacksonville, before they return home for a showdown with Miami.