Cosmos Beat Scorpions 3-0, Remain Undefeated

Raúl goal sparks comfortable win over defending NASL champions.
Published May 23, 2015

By Cosmos News Service

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – (May 23, 2015) The New York Cosmos (5-3-0, 18 points) maintained their undefeated start to the season with a comprehensive 3-0 win over the San Antonio Scorpions in front of 5,032 fans at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.

“What made it complete was we never went down, [we were never] being comfortable,” Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. “We just kept going at them, pressuring them. Even at 3-0 we kept on making sure we stayed on the game plan. We played like it was 0-0 until the 92nd minute. It was one of the most complete games we played so far in the past three years.”

The victory extended the Cosmos’ unbeaten streak to eight games as they moved six points clear of Minnesota United and the Tampa Bay Rowdies atop the NASL spring season standings.

“Today was a complete match in all aspects,” Raúl said. “We had in front of us a very good team, technical and physical and I think the response from the team today was very good, the performance, the mentality. We are very happy, but now we have to go forward in the same way.”

Raúl had given the Cosmos the lead in the 18th minute, calmly slotting a low penalty kick to the right of Scorpions goalkeeper Daryl Sattler. Former Cosmos midfielder Joseph Nane pulled down forward Lucky Mkosana and referee Kevin Terry, Jr. immediately pointed to the spot.

Moments after clearing a deep cross by Billy Forbes, Ayoze played a perfect free kick into the box where Rovérsio powered in a downward header from the edge of the six yard box for his first goal of the season in the 81st minute.

 “Rovérsio read the game very well,” Savarese said. “I remember one of the plays he had the composure and calmness to steal the ball, play from the side and play from the back. He had a very good game today for sure.”

Five minutes later, Leo Fernandes made it 3-0 when he put a glancing header into the net for his third goal of the season after Mkosana headed on a ball pulled back from the end line by Raúl.

Fernandes, on loan from the Philadelphia Union, matched Raúl’s team-leading goal total with his third.

“It was a good counterattack. Raúl created some space. I made a far post run and Lucky made a near post run,” Fernandes said. “He headed it and I was in the right place at the right time and I was able to get it in the back of the net.”

San Antonio (2-1-4), which won the previous four meetings against the Cosmos, had few quality scoring chances. Goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer made just three saves to earn his fifth clean sheet of the season.

“We played very well, really limited their chances,” Maurer said. “They’re a good team, they have some dangerous guys, but our energy level, focus and commitment was just top notch all game. It showed in the scoreline at the end.”

It was the first match of what will be four matches in 11 days for the Cosmos, who host the Jersey Express in the third round Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at St. John’s Belson Stadium Wednesday night (kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET).

Savarese is hopeful Spanish midfielder Marcos Senna (hamstring) will be able to return to full training Monday and said he could be included in the lineup for the U.S. Open Cup.

“We need to maintain what we did today,” Savarese said. “Today we had a very good match, we did very well, we were very aggressive to pressure to win balls to score goals. We need to maintain that. We cannot be comfortable at any moment.”