Miami Sports Day

NASL: League-Leading Cosmos Top Loons To Headline Saturday Night Results

The New York Cosmos kept their impressive home unbeaten streak alive with a 1-0 victory against Minnesota United FC at Shuart Stadium on Saturday night in Week 11 of the North American Soccer League (NASL) Fall Season. The win allowed the Cosmos to extend their lead in the NASL Fall Season standings to six points and seven points in the Combined Standings over FC Edmonton. The Eddies host Miami FC in a Sunday matinee.

The Cosmos made David Diosa’s first-half goal stand up against the visiting Loons, and goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer preserved the shutout with a pair of brilliant saves to deny Christian Ramirez, the NASL’s leading goalscorer.

In Lauderhill, Fla., the Strikers’ Brazilian connection of Paulo Júnior and Maicon Santos scored the goals and Fort Lauderdale weathered a late Indy Eleven flurry to come away with the 2-1 victory. Indy, the league’s Spring Season champion, is now without a victory in its last five games.

Saturday night’s other two games, Tampa Bay at Puerto Rico FC and Ottawa Fury FC at Carolina, both ended in scoreless draws.

On Sunday, FC Edmonton hosts Miami FC, while Rayo OKC entertains Jacksonville Armada FC.

New York Cosmos 1, Minnesota United FC 0

New York snapped Minnesota’s five-game unbeaten streak in which the Loons had scored only four goals. The Cosmos are now unbeaten in seven games overall; and have outscored the visiting opposition, 32-6, at home in 2016.

David Diosa scored a highlight-reel goal in the 32nd minute to give New York (9-3-2, 30 Fall; 15-3-6, 48 Combined) a 1-0 lead. Ruben Bover lofted a left-footed, 35-yard cross from the right to the streaking Diosa on the left side of the penalty area. Diosa smacked a left-footed volley over Minnesota (5-5-4, 20 Fall; 10-6-8, 36 Combined) goalkeeper Sammy Ndjock for his third goal of the year.

The Loons had their best chance to knot the score in the 75th minute when Ramirez was thwarted in his bid for his 15th goal of the year by a fingertip save by Jimmy Maurer. Maurer again denied Ramirez from point-blank range five minutes later.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2, Indy Eleven 1

Goals by Paulo Júnior and Maicon Santos powered Fort Lauderdale over Indy Eleven, the NASL’s Spring Season champion, at Central Broward Stadium. The Strikers are unbeaten in six games.

Paulo Júnior gave Fort Lauderdale (4-4-5, 16 Fall; 8-7-8, 31 Combined) the lead in the 19th minute when he took a pass from Ramón Núñez and carried the ball more than 30 yards down the right flank. He then sped past the Indy Eleven (6-3-5, 21 Fall; 10-9-5, 39 Combined) defense and slotted a shot past goalkeeper Jon Busch low and inside the far post.

The Strikers made it 2-0 in the 67th minute on a brilliant individual effort from Maicon Santos after collecting a pass from Paulo Júnior. He collected the ball at the top of the Indy penalty area, slipped it through the legs of a defender and slotted a right-footed shot along the ground and inside the far post. The Strikers’ bid for a third straight shutout was thwarted when Indy’s Justin Braun, just back from injury, planted a header inside the far post in the 88th minute from a cross from Lovel Palmer. It was Braun’s fifth goal of the year.

Carolina RailHawks 0, Ottawa Fury FC 0

Ottawa Fury FC is unbeaten and unscored upon in the first two games of a three-game road trip, but the club also failed to put the ball in the back of the net for the second straight game in a scoreless tie against the Carolina RailHawks on Saturday night.

Carolina (4-4-4, 16 Fall; 8-6-8, 30 Combined) and Ottawa (3-5-6, 14 Fall; 5-8-11, 23 Combined) played the game at a furious and intense pace, but neither team was able to solve the opposing defense and goalkeeper. The RailHawks had 11 shots and forced Fury FC goalkeeper Romuald Peiser to make three saves. Ottawa had nine shots, while Carolina goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre was called upon to make two saves.

Puerto Rico FC 0, Tampa Bay Rowdies 0

Puerto Rico FC withstood late pressure from the Tampa Bay Rowdies as the teams played to a scoreless draw at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium on Saturday night.

Puerto Rico FC (1-7-6, 10 Fall) came close in the 33rd minute when an inswinging free kick by Paulo Mendes from the left edge of penalty area rattled off the Tampa Bay (3-4-6, 13 Fall; 7-8-8, 29 Combined) crossbar and out. It was PRFC’s best chance of the game.

The Rowdies pressed for a goal in the game’s waning moments, but a free kick from Joe Cole was deflected by the wall and the Puerto Rico defense was able to hold fast in the face of furious pressure. Both teams have played to draws in their last two games.

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